Total Knee Replacement (T.K.R)

What is a knee replacement?

Total knee replacement is a very common procedure done to relieve significant pain associated with knee arthritis. The worn and damaged surfaces of the knee are replaced with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic.

In early stages of knee arthritis, painkillers, physiotherapy and arthroscopy (keyhole) surgery can help but TKR is performed if alternative treatments have failed or are not appropriate.

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  • Treatment Options
  • Recovery
  • Considerations
Are there any alternatives to surgery?

What does knee replacement involve?

TKR can be carried out either under general anaesthetic or a regional type (spinal or epidural anaesthetic, where the legs go numb).

A 15 – 20 cm long cut is made in front of the knee, the arthritic damaged surfaces of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) are replaced and cemented with a metal alloy. A plastic bearing is inserted between the metal components. Also a plastic component is sometimes inserted on the back of the knee cap (patella). Blood transfusion is rarely needed.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery Image

What happens after TKR surgery?

What happens after TKR surgery?

Pain killers are given for pain relief, the physiotherapist will get you up walking and bending your knee the same day. You can go home 3 – 5 days after your operation.

You will attend the physiotherapy department for 4 – 6 weeks. You should expect to bend your knee to just above right angle ( 90 – 100 degrees).

What are the short and long term expectations after TKR?

You can go back to work 6 – 12 weeks after surgery.

You can drive your car 6 weeks after TKR.

You will be able to do most daily activities.

Kneeling could be difficult for some patients, however there is no contra indication if you can do so.

You can engage in some sporting activities like swimming, cycling, rowing or golf. However it is advisable to avoid jogging as it can make the implant go loose.

TKR can last 10 – 15 years in 90 – 95% of patients.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery Image

What are the possible complications?

What are the possible complications?

Fortunately most patients do well without having problems. A few can get problems like infection, bleeding, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), numb patch outer side of the incision, pain and stiffness.

Long term loosening of implant can occur, these cases can be revised i.e. the implant needs to be changed.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery Image

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