Home Health and Wellness Tips Knee replacement surgery risks: Understanding possible complications and how to reduce their likelihood

Knee replacement surgery risks: Understanding possible complications and how to reduce their likelihood

15 min read

Remember when taking the steps, working after the bus or sinking into a comfortable sofa had been no large deal? You weren’t fascinated with how a lot work your knees had been doing. But now that you just’re coping with power ache, the stress in your knees could also be one thing you consider every day – and a knee replacement could also be in your thoughts.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, over 790,000 knee replacement surgical procedures are carried out within the United States yearly. Knee replacements assist enhance your mobility, reduce knee ache and get you again to doing the belongings you love. But as with every medical process, it’s vital to perceive the possible dangers of getting knee replacement surgery.

The excellent news is that knee replacement surgery is usually thought of a protected process. Complications are very uncommon. In reality, varied research present that over 95% of sufferers recuperate from knee replacement surgery with out complications.

So, what are the knee replacement dangers you want to know? What you are able to do to reduce them? Below we reply these questions and extra.

Possible knee replacement surgery complications


All surgical procedures require incisions – cuts that permit surgeons to open an space of the physique and make repairs. So, this implies there’s an opportunity of an infection – nevertheless it’s an especially small likelihood.

When infections do come up, they’re thought of critical. That’s why it’s essential to comply with the care directions given to you by your physician, together with protecting your wound clear and dry, and taking any prescribed antibiotics. And if any growing redness, swelling or ache occurs, you’ll want to contact your physician instantly.

Longer-term knee stiffness

It’s regular to really feel slightly stiff and swollen for a number of months after surgery. This is simply your physique recovering and adjusting to your new knee or knees. But typically that stiffness can final.

Longer-term stiffness is often attributable to extreme scar tissue. Oftentimes, lack of use or train could cause scar tissue to construct up within the gentle tissue across the joint. That’s one of many causes bodily remedy following surgery is beneficial. Movement is nice to your joints.

By following your physician’s suggestions about motion and sticking to your bodily remedy plan, you may assist stop the buildup of scar tissue and stiffness. But should you do expertise longer-term stiffness, your physician might advocate extra therapies resembling extra bodily remedy or joint manipulation.

Persistent knee ache

Some discomfort instantly after surgery is regular. It’ll take a while to your physique to regulate to your knee replacement. Pain sometimes lessens after two to three months, however you’ll in all probability discover enchancment each week.

However, some individuals can proceed to have persistent knee ache after surgery. When this occurs, your physician will work with you to create a therapy plan, which can embrace extra bodily remedy, cognitive behavioral remedy or medicines to enable you really feel extra comfy.

Implant failure

Knee implants are constructed to be long-lasting. But there’s a small likelihood that the implant will fail. Implant failure is when the replacement joint isn’t ready to work correctly. Typically, persistent ache and stiffness will be indicators of implant failure.

Why do knee implants fail? Infection, instability or stiffness are thought of the most typical causes of implant failure. Others causes can embrace a problem with the implant itself, like a fracture, and aseptic loosening. Aseptic loosening is a situation when the bond holding the implant in place comes unstuck from put on and tear.

So, how lengthy do knee replacements final?

Unfortunately, no knee replacement lasts endlessly. Because we use our knees each time we stroll, sit or do different actions, the replacement knees will finally put on out.

Many sufferers have knee replacements that final 20 years or longer. Timing your knee replacement surgery accurately can assist you get essentially the most profit from the unreal joint.

Will I want to have a second knee surgery?

If you expertise implant failure, you’ll probably want a second surgery to exchange it. But typically talking, most individuals gained’t want a second knee replacement surgery. In reality, a recent study confirmed that the 10-year implant survival fee is greater than 96 p.c. In addition, the 20-year survival fee was roughly 90 p.c.

Several components can play a job within the longevity of a knee replacement. People who’re obese, do heavy guide work or play vigorous sports activities are at a better danger of needing a second knee surgery. And complications, like implant failure, might improve your danger of needing a revision to your knee replacement.

Nerve or blood vessel injury

During surgery, there’s a slight likelihood that the nerves, veins or tissue round your knee will be broken. Damaged nerves or blood vessels could cause numbness, ache or decrease blood move across the knee. Usually, any injury will heal by itself over time. In some circumstances, a process could also be beneficial to assist repair the difficulty.

Blood clots

Because a knee replacement impacts the way in which blood flows round your knee, it will possibly improve your danger of growing blood clots. In uncommon circumstances, blood clots could cause critical complications together with a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in your lungs).

To reduce your danger of blood clots, your physician might prescribe blood thinning medicines. But an important factor you can do to reduce your danger of growing blood clots is to transfer round after surgery. This contains strolling round your room, strolling to and from the lavatory, maintaining together with your bodily remedy workout routines and different actions all through the day.

How to decrease your danger of complications from knee replacement surgery

Each particular person’s particular person danger of growing complications after knee replacement surgery is completely different. But there are some steps you may take to assist your knee replacement go easily and reduce the likelihood you’ll develop a complication.

Make making ready for knee surgery a precedence

Taking sure steps to put together for knee replacement surgery and the restoration course of is vital. This can assist reduce stress within the lead up to the surgery and set you up for a profitable restoration.

For instance, one prep step needs to be making changes to your house to make it extra protected and comfy for all times after surgery. This can embrace clearing litter, rearranging furnishings to create bigger walkways and including security rails to your rest room.

Follow your restoration plan

Your surgeon gives you detailed directions to comply with after your surgery, and it’s vital to stick to that plan as carefully as possible. Your restoration plan can embrace issues like:

  • Wound care directions
  • In-clinic bodily remedy periods
  • At-home workout routines
  • Medical ache administration
  • And extra

Take it straightforward

Using your new knee and getting again to your routine is a crucial a part of restoration. But throwing your self again into your normal actions too shortly could make your ache worse.

Be affected person with your self as you recuperate and don’t be afraid to ask for assist. Asking household and buddies to provide assist can even enable you stick carefully to your restoration. Arrange assist with rides, errands and different essential actions so that you don’t push your self too laborious, too quick.

Choose an professional surgeon

Choosing an skilled surgeon can reduce your danger of complications. You ought to search for a surgeon who has carried out tons of of profitable surgical procedures.

At TRIA, our orthopedic surgeons are thought of among the many finest within the Midwest. One 12 months after surgery, 97 p.c of our knee replacement sufferers reported that they’ll stroll down stairs with little to no problem.

More questions on knee replacement dangers? Talk with an orthopedist.

Choosing to have knee replacement surgery is an enormous determination. And the reality is, there could also be different non-surgical therapy choices that may assist heal your knee ache.

Whether you’re questioning about particular person knee replacement dangers or need a second opinion, don’t delay getting the care and solutions you want. Make an appointment with an orthopedic physician and take step one towards therapeutic your knee ache.

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