Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a common procedure that can relieve people suffering from chronic knee pain and limited mobility due to arthritis, injury, or other conditions. However, like any surgery, knee replacement surgery carries some risks. Here are five risks of knee replacement surgery that you should be aware of:
One of the most severe risks of knee replacement surgery is infection. However, rare infections can occur after surgery and can be difficult to treat. In some cases, the implant may need to be removed and replaced with a new one. To reduce the risk of infection, surgeons take steps to minimise the risk of bacteria entering the surgical site, and patients are usually given antibiotics before and after surgery.
Another risk of knee replacement surgery is the formation of blood clots in the legs. These clots can travel to the lungs, causing a potentially life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. Patients are usually given blood thinning medications and encouraged to move their legs as soon as possible after surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.
During knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis knee, nerves around the knee can be damaged, leading to numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg. In some cases, nerve damage can be permanent. To reduce the risk of nerve damage, surgeons take care to avoid damaging nerves during the procedure.
Although knee replacement implants are designed to last for many years, they can sometimes fail. This can happen if the implant becomes loose or wears out over time. Implant failure may require revision surgery to replace the implant. Patients are advised to avoid high-impact activities, such as running or jumping, after surgery to reduce the risk of implant failure.
Stiffness & reduced mobility
Although knee replacement surgery can improve mobility and reduce pain, some patients may experience stiffness and reduced mobility afterward. This can happen if scar tissue forms around the implant or if the muscles around the knee are weak or damaged. Patients are usually given exercises to do after surgery to help strengthen the muscles around the knee to reduce the risk of stiffness and reduced mobility.
It is important to note that not all of these risks have to be a cause of worry if a skilled and experienced orthopaedic surgeon conducts knee replacement surgery. In Singapore, knee specialists are highly trained and experienced in providing the best possible care for their patients.
Here are some tips to get the best outcome from a knee replacement surgery:
1. Ensure an experienced, and board-certified orthopaedic surgeon conducts the operation.
2. Ask the right questions before and after surgery.
3. Follow the instructions given by the doctor and do not miss any scheduled appointments.
4. Take care of your physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises.
5. Maintain proper hygiene, especially during the wound healing period.
In conclusion, knee replacement surgery can provide relief for people who suffer from chronic knee pain and limited mobility, but it carries some risks. These risks include infection, blood clots, nerve damage, implant failure, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Before deciding to have knee replacement surgery, it is essential to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as any alternatives that may be available. You should also be sure to choose a skilled and experienced surgeon to perform the procedure and follow your doctor’s instructions for post-operative care and rehabilitation to help minimise the risk of complications.
Visit Advanced Orthopaedic & Sports Centre for more info.