TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT

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Overview

Total knee replacement surgery is designed to replace your damaged knee joint with a replica artificial joint. The artificial joint used in knee surgery consists of high-grade plastic and metal components which are held in place by special bone cement.

Knee replacement procedures aim to relieve severe stiffness, pain and limitations in walking to ultimately improve the quality of your life. People who need knee replacement surgery usually have problems exercising, walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. Some also have knee pain at rest, especially at night.

In determining whether a knee replacement is right for you, our knee specialists will assess your knee's range of motion, stability and strength and advise you on the best possible route.

You can expect to have an improved quality of life with less pain and increased mobility.

Your range of movement should improve considerably but it is important to note that patients with very stiff knees regain less movement as a rule. Overall you should be able and exercise comfortably.

As with most orthopaedic surgeries, a total knee replacement does carry some risks. Your surgeon will discuss these with you during your consultation at Cape Hip & Knee which is located at the Life Orthopaedic Hospital in Cape Town.

Some of the associated risks include:

  • Blood clots in the leg vein or lungs.
  • Nerve damage in the area where the implant is placed.
  • Infection can occur around the wound or in the deeper tissue near the new knee joint. Most infections are treated with antibiotics, but a major infection near the prosthesis might require surgery to remove and replace the artificial knee joint.
  • Pain and stiffness. A small percentage of patients may develop excessive scar tissue in the early post-op period. These patients may require a manipulation under anaesthetic at 6 weeks. Even fewer patients may experience a persistent painful joint which may last indefinitely.

The consensus among leading Cape Town knee surgeons is that with sensible use, the likelihood of the artificial joint lasting more than 10 years exceeds 95%. Keep in mind that any artificial joint will be subject to wear from daily use and its lifespan can be adversely affected when the knee joint is stressed with high-impact activities. Should components loosen, they can be replaced in a revision surgery. This is a more complex orthopaedic procedure with a marginally lower success rate than a total knee replacement.

At Cape Hip &Knee Practice, our patient care starts long before the actual surgery. It’s this approach that has helped us build a reputation as leading orthopaedic surgeons in Cape Town. Click below to read more about our step-by-step process to assist you in getting prepared for your knee surgery.