Total Knee Replacement
The information provided on this website is done so as a guideline to assist you in further understanding your surgical treatment and what to expect. Each patient’s treatment plan is tailored to their conditions so your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other peoples.
Please contact Dr Rodda for advice should you be concerned about any aspect of your health or recovery.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR) otherwise referred to as Knee Resurfacing or Knee Arthroplasty, is a surgical treatment for conditions of the knee, including arthritis. It is one of the most common procedures performed worldwide with over one million knee replacements performed annually.
During TKR surgery the cartilage surface and less than one centimetre of bone is removed from the femur and tibia and replaced with a new surface, thus preserving the muscles and collateral ligaments of the knee.
Knee pain occurs as a result of inflammation, damaged cartilage, trauma or joint degeneration. This inflammation can cause pain along with joint weakness, instability and deformity, and can interfere with your everyday activities such as walking.
The knee is made up of three components. A medial component (inside of knee), a lateral component (outside of knee) and the third component is between the patella and femur.
During a Total Knee Replacement, the medial and lateral components are replaced, and the patella is commonly resurfaced. Alternatively, you can have a single compartmental replacement, which replaces just the single damaged component of the knee.
In surgery a straight incision is made over the knee, roughly 12cm in length. The knee joint is exposed by moving the main knee tendon to one side. Then, the edge of the damaged cartilage is cleared in preparation for the implant. Components are then fixed to the bone using one of two options, bone cement or coated synthetic. Both these options encourage the bone to grow and adhere to the surface. Using the help of advanced computer technology, implants are aligned properly within the knee.
Prior to surgery a series of blood tests, X-rays and consultations will be completed to ensure this is the best option for you and ensure you’re an applicable candidate. These appointments are imperative for Dr Rodda to understand your injury and determine the best course of treatment for your wellbeing.
- Rapid and significant reduction in pain, and possibly even entirely eradicate pain
- Improved mobility. You should experience smoother movement and normal functionality
- Overall improved quality of life. Everyday activities, like walking, will no longer be restricted by pain.
- Because the knee is so highly utilised in everyday life can be wear and tear and surrounding complications such as debris loosening the knee replacement components which can cause reoccurring pain
- As with any operation, there is a risk of infection
- Blood clots. Your doctors will often prescribe blood thinning medication to avoid this or reduce this risk
- No pain relief from procedure
- Stiffness or instability
- Please speak with Dr Rodda if any of these particularly worry you, he is more than happy answer your questions and provide further information.
Why should I consider a Total Knee Replacement?
We understand knee pain can have a huge impact on your quality of life. TKR is common and safe procedure that can alleviate this and reduce the symptoms of arthritis, knee pain and mobility restrictions.
Who is a suitable applicant for a Total Knee Replacement?
Someone whom is experiencing moderate to severe arthritis and has exhausted their options of pain management in other ways. Including but not exclusive to trying weight loss, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and any other alternative therapies. This is normally a suitable indication of someone who will be candidate for surgery. Dr Rodda will assess all areas of your medical history, your knee, your X-rays in order determine is this procedure is suitable for you.
What will the pain be like post-surgery?
All surgical procedures involve a certain amount of discomfort, however with recent advances in the development of anaesthetics, along with the high level of surgical care provided by Dr Rodda, you can feel reassured that your pain will be kept to a minimum during recovery and you will be made to feel as comfortable as possible.
What happens after surgery?
Generally, patients experience some disorientated when they first wake up from anaesthetic. You may feel thirsty or hungry, and you are usually able to eat and drink almost immediately. As soon as the nerve block wears off, we like to have you bending your knee and up on your feet. We provide you with an ice pack to help reduce the swelling and may insert a thin catheter to administer additional local anaesthetic into your knee to assist in reducing any discomfort you are experiencing. A physiotherapist will help you with your rehabilitation and typically within 3-4 days you’ll be on your way home.
What happens once I’m home?
We organise for a physiotherapist to visit you at home, generally a day or two after you leave hospital. Over the first two weeks we recommend you keep your walking to short distances, and other general activities may be limited. You will then have a follow up appointment with Dr approximately two weeks post-surgery where he will check your progress and answer any questions that you may have. Dr Rodda strives to provide a high level of post-surgical care and places a high level of importance on patient treatment and follow-up.
When can I return to driving?
Patients can typically return to driving about six weeks after the operation.