Knees

Points to ponder

 

  

KNEES

The main benefit and hence the main indication for joint replacement surgery is relief of PAIN both while mobilising and at rest/night. If this is not your main reason for having surgery, do have a chat with me or a member of my team again. There may as a result of pain relief be an increase in your function and mobility. 

If you limp on account of the joint pain, then it may get better following surgery, however if there are other causes/ factors that make you limp or walk slower than you like than a single joint replacement is unlikely to change it. 

If you use a walking stick or crutches, whether this particular joint replacement will let you use less number of walking aids or none at all is dependent on how good your other lower limb joints and back are and how much muscle strength and gait coordination you learn in the months after surgery. Knee replacements don’t cure pain that’s originating from the hip or lower back though they may sometimes help inadvertently by the overall improvement in gait and mobility. 

The Risks are as follows: Infection risk is approximately 1% (but may lead to further procedures including revision in stages); Clots in legs (risk is about 5%) and lungs (risk is much less than 0.5 % but can be fatal); Numbness around the outer aspect of the knee (this is a consequence rather than a risk of a cut in front of the knee and does not cause any disability); Instability making gait difficult; Peroneal nerve injury (leading to weakness, foot drop, neuropathic pain, sensory problems), Vascular injury (leading in worse case scenarios to amputation, bleeding and death), Stiffness (also known arthrofibrosis, resulting in poor bend or straightening of the knee); Persistent pain (due to RSD/CRPS, chronic pain, lateral numbness), dissatisfaction (this is around 15% of all patients even in the absence of an identifiable problem); early failure; wear; loosening; periprosthetic fracture; wound problems; further surgery including revision surgery may fail to improve the situation, fusion as salvage, small risk of amputation, death (very small risk but increases with age)

Overall the percentage of patients satisfied following a knee replacement is around 80-85%. You may have circumstances around your knee or general health that may affect these numbers and I am happy to have further chats to discuss it if necessary.