When is it Time for a Knee Replacement?
We never stop to think how a lack of motion in our joints affects our daily lives and tend to just grin and bear with the pain. But what if you find that the simplest motion of climbing stairs, getting in and out of chairs, and even walking can cause tremendous pain in your knee joints? You can’t rely on conventional pain medication indefinitely, so it might be time to consider knee replacement surgery.
As this is major surgery, it should not be entered into lightly and it is always best to consult with a knee surgeon before going ahead with the replacement. Forewarned is forearmed, so it is best to know what the common side effects of this surgery are before making the final decision.
Common Side Effects of Knee Replacement Surgery
This type of replacement surgery can result in physical complications ranging from pain and swelling to implant rejection, infection, and bone fractures.
- Persistent Pain – it is normal for patients to experience some degree of pain up to three months after surgery. If, after this time, you are not experiencing a lessening of pain, you would need to consult your doctor.
- Infection – infection after surgery is rare but can still occur, and therefore, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions on wound cleanliness.
- Long-Term Stiffness – it is normal to have stiffness in the joint after surgery as this is your body’s way of healing and adjusting to the new knee. Should the stiffness last, it could mean that there is excessive scar tissue, which could be caused by a lack of use or exercise.
- Implant failure – implants are built to be long lasting but there is always a chance that the implant might fail. Persistent pain and stiffness could be a sign of implant failure as the replacement joint isn’t able to function properly.
- Nerve or Blood Vessel Damage – during surgery, there is a chance that the nerves, veins, and tissues around the joint can be damaged. This can cause numbness, pain, or lower blood flow around the knee and usually the damage will heal over time.
- Blood Clots – knee replacement affects the flow of blood around the knee, and as a result of this, it could increase the possibility of developing blood clots. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended to take blood-thinning medication. The best thing a patient can do after surgery to prevent blood clots it to move around.
Your Surgery is in Safe Hands
At Life Wilgers Hospital, we know that no surgery should be entered into lightly, so before making the decision to go ahead with your replacement, contact us or visit our website to find out more about our state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment approaches for replacement surgery.