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What Are The Risks Of Knee Surgery

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what are the risks of total knee replacement

Choosing an experienced surgeon can reduce your risk of complications. You should look for a surgeon who has performed hundreds of successful surgeries.

At TRIA, our orthopedic surgeons are considered among the best in the Midwest. One year after surgery, 97 percent of our knee replacement patients reported that they can walk down stairs with little to no difficulty.

Recognizing The Signs Of A Blood Clot

Follow your orthopaedic surgeon’s instructions carefully to reduce the risk of blood clots developing during the first several weeks of your recovery. He or she may recommend that you continue taking the blood thinning medication you started in the hospital. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following warning signs.

Warning signs of blood clots. The warning signs of possible blood clots in your leg include:

  • Increasing pain in your calf
  • Tenderness or redness above or below your knee
  • New or increasing swelling in your calf, ankle, and foot

Warning signs of pulmonary embolism. The warning signs that a blood clot has traveled to your lung include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden onset of chest pain
  • Localized chest pain with coughing

When Should I Seek Medical Attention After Knee Replacement

After you go home, call your healthcare provider right away if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain and/or shortness of breath.
  • Fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit .
  • Incision problems, like bleeding, leaking, swelling, redness or odor.
  • Pain in your calf, ankle or foot that is new and gets worse.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you have severe knee pain but medications and therapy arent helping, knee replacement may provide the answer. This common and effective surgery can reduce pain and get you back to everyday activities. Talk to your healthcare provider or an orthopedic provider about whether knee arthroplasty is a good option for you.

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Does Having A Knee Replacement Shorten Your Life

In a study involving over 300 Japanese patients who had a total knee replacement for osteoarthritis, those who had a knee replacement had a similar life expectancy to those who did not. In the study, the two factors that most influenced lifespan after a total knee replacement were age and whether both knees were replaced.

Those who have knee replacement for osteoarthritis tend to live longer than those who have rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, some studies have shown that having both knees replaced led to a better long-term outcome than one knee replacement because having a single knee replaced leads to an average of a 14-pound weight gain.

The Risks Of Delaying Knee Replacement Surgery

The Risks and Benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery

Timing is everything, even when it comes to having knee replacement surgery. Latest statistics tell us 90% of Americans are waiting too long to have their knee replaced, whereas 25% are having the surgery too early and missing out on the best benefits. Yes, timing is everything! Lets discover when to proceed, and what exactly are the risks of delaying knee replacement surgery.

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Risks Of Knee Replacement Surgery

Risks of total knee replacement Mexico include blood clots in the legs that can travel to the lungs leading to a pulmonary embolism and shortness of breath, chest pain, and even shock.

Risks may also include urinary tract infection, nausea and vomiting, chronic knee pain and stiffness, bleeding into the knee joint, nerve damage, blood vessel injury, and infection of the knee which can necessitate reoperation.

Furthermore, the risks of anesthesia include potential heart, lung, kidney, and liver damage.

As with any operation, knee replacement surgery has risks as well as benefits. Most people who undergo knee replacement Mexico do not experience serious complications.

Other Possible risks include:

  • Fracture in the bone around the artificial joint during or after surgery
  • Excess bone forming around the artificial knee joint and restricting movement of the knee
  • Excess scar tissue forming and restricting movement of the knee
  • The kneecap becoming dislocated.
  • Numbness in the area around the wound scar.

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About

What Conditions Does Knee Replacement Surgery Treat

Knee replacement surgery treats conditions that cause the cartilage of the knee joint to wear away. These include:

  • Knee osteoarthritis. This is the most common reason for knee replacement surgery. It usually develops over time after an injury or with aging.
  • Knee damage from other types of arthritis.
  • Problems from knee joints that aren’t formed correctly.

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What Are The Signs Of Knee Replacement Failure

The most common symptoms of a failed knee implant are pain, decrease in joint function, knee instability, and swelling or stiffness in the knee joint.

Persistent pain and swelling can indicate loosening, wear or infection, and the location of the pain can be all over the knee or in one particular area . A decline in knee function may result in a limp, stiffness or instability. Patients who demonstrate these symptoms and signs may require revision joint surgery.

Risks Of Delaying Knee Surgery

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May 1, 2020

If you have a damaged knee joint and are still holding off on surgery, you are not alone. A lot of people try to avoid surgery for as long as possible. While surgery is a last-resort option and should be considered only when conservative treatments no longer work, its also not a good idea to avoid surgery when it does become necessary.

Whether its due to fear of undergoing surgery or believing the procedure wont correct the problem, its best to discuss your apprehensions with a surgeon. An experienced surgeon can educate you on what to expect and alleviate any concerns you may have.

If that isnt enough, you should know that delaying knee surgery can have its own risks. Here are some risks you should be aware of.

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When Can I Get Back To My Everyday Activities After Knee Arthroplasty

Your doctor will give you specific instructions. But many people can get back to their everyday activities three to six weeks after surgery.

Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions about recovery. You will gradually increase activity, starting with a slow walking program. You will be encouraged to stand, climb stairs and perform other normal household activities as soon as possible.

What Is Recovery Like

You can start moving the knee the day of your surgery. Your knee function should return rapidly and with less pain than with total knee replacement. Youll work with a physical therapist to mobilize the knee while in the hospital and for two to four weeks after discharge. Youre usually discharged no later than one or two days after surgery.

Youll need medication to guard against formation of a blood clot while in the hospital and maybe for a period of time after youre discharged.

If all goes well, you should be back to full activity in about six to eight weeks. Impact exercises or jogging/running may not be recommended because the replacement includes a bearing surface that can wear. However, activities like tennis, skiing, and other sports are okay. This, of course, is why partial knee replacement is even being considered to return you to activities you enjoy.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/16/2020.

References

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Does Diabetes Raise Knee Replacement Risks

Learn more about studies exploring the relationship between diabetes and knee surgery outcomes for people who also have arthritis.

When arthritis makes it too painful to walk or climb stairs, knee replacement surgery could help make getting around more comfortable. Yet this surgery, like any other procedure, comes with risks that may be more pronounced if you also have diabetes.

Its an important issue to consider since about half of people with diabetes also have arthritis, and many may eventually need a new knee or two.

Total Knee Replacement Facts

Knee Replacement Surgery
  • Patients with severe destruction of the knee joint associated with progressive pain and impaired function may be candidates for total knee replacement.
  • Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee replacement operation in the U.S.
  • Risks of total knee replacement surgery have been identified.
  • Physical therapy is an essential part of rehabilitation after total knee replacement.
  • Patients with artificial joints are recommended to take antibiotics before, during, and after any elective invasive procedures .

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Extending The Life Of Your Knee Implant

Currently, more than 90% of modern total knee replacements are still functioning well 15 years after the surgery. Following your orthopaedic surgeon’s instructions after surgery and taking care to protect your knee replacement and your general health are important ways you can contribute to the final success of your surgery.

To assist doctors in the surgical management of osteoarthritis of the knee, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has conducted research to provide some useful guidelines. These are recommendations only and may not apply to every case. For more information: Surgical Management of Osteoarthritis of the Knee – Clinical Practice Guideline | American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Make Preparing For Knee Surgery A Priority

Taking certain steps to prepare for knee replacement surgery and the recovery process is important. This can help reduce stress in the lead up to the surgery and set you up for a successful recovery.

For example, one prep step should be making adjustments to your home to make it more safe and comfortable for life after surgery. This can include clearing clutter, rearranging furniture to create larger walkways and adding safety rails to your bathroom.

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Dangers And Risks Of Putting Off Knee Replacement Surgery

Patients often delay knee replacement surgery because of fear of the procedure or concerns about the recovery process. Interestingly, while many people worry about what could possibly happen if they undergo knee replacement surgery, fewer stop to think about what will likely happen if they wait:

  • Increased knee pain
  • Further damage to the joint
  • Reduced mobility and ability to use the knee

Continuing to delay knee replacement surgery can bring about serious consequences, such as the inability to walk, work and perform normal daily tasks.

Knee Replacement Surgery May Be More Complex the Longer You Wait

The longer a patient waits to have knee surgery, the more complicated the surgery can become. Here are some ways the procedure can become more complex when a person delays knee replacement surgery:

  • The knee may become deformed and therefore harder to replace
  • The surgical procedure can take longer
  • Kneecap resurfacing may be required
  • Options may become more limited. For instance, early on, a patient may only need a partial knee replacement, but if they wait, they may need total knee replacement which is a more complex procedure.

Delaying Knee Replacement Surgery May Diminish Health

Make a Knee Replacement Surgery Appointment

Most patients who have had knee replacement surgery not only report positive outcomes including reduced pain or complete freedom from knee pain, many say they would have had knee replacement surgery sooner.

How Common Is Knee Replacement Surgery

What are the Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery?

The surgery is very common. Surgeons started doing it in the 1960s, with regular updates to techniques and implants along the way.

Almost 800,000 knee replacements currently get performed each year in the United States. The surgery is often done in older adults whose knees have worn down over time. But its also become popular in middle age, as people want to stay active.

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Surgery Needs May Become More Extensive

Surgery may become more extensive if you wait it out too long. If a deteriorated knee joint is not fixed at the right time, you will likely need a more extensive procedure. The more damage you have in your knee, the more complicated and extensive the procedure to fix the issues will be. As a result, you may have a lot more surgical trauma and need a longer time to recover from the procedure.

When Surgery Is Recommended

There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery. People who benefit from total knee replacement often have:

  • Severe knee pain or stiffness that limits everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. It may be hard to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain and it may be necessary to use a cane or walker
  • Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, either day or night
  • Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
  • Knee deformity a bowing in or out of the knee
  • Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries

Total knee replacement may be recommended for patients with bowed knee deformity, like that shown in this clinical photo.

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Are There Any Reasons Why I Cant Have A Knee Replacement

Unfortunately, some people may not be able to have a knee replacement even though their arthritis is very bad. This may be because:

  • your thigh muscles are very weak and may not be able to support your new knee joint
  • there are deep or long-lasting open sores in the skin below your knee, increasing your risk of infection.

Types And Risks Of Knee Surgery

Risks of Delaying Knee Replacement Surgery

There are several types of knee surgery. Each one is specific to the needs and conditions of each patient.

  • Total or partial replacement: This is the most common type of knee surgery and involves removing the joint and replacing it with a prosthetic. The prosthetic is typically made of plastic, ceramic or metal parts. This type of surgery is done when theres irreparable damage to the knee.
  • Arthroscopy: This is a minimally invasive knee surgery that removes or repairs the damaged menisci, a cruciate ligament, or trims pieces of torn cartilage. In addition, its also useful for performing synovectomy, which is the removal of the joints lining.
  • Osteotomy: This is for when theres damage to only one part of the knee. In this operation, the surgeon will modify the shape of the bones and reposition them to avoid weight being put on the affected part. Also, theyll do this when a break in the joint still hasnt healed completely.

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What Happens After Knee Replacement Surgery

Some people go home the same day they have surgery. Other people will stay in the hospital a few days. To help prevent blood clots, you’ll most likely take blood thinners and wear special socks or coverings on your legs for a short time after surgery.

The success of your surgery depends a lot on what you do at home to help yourself recover. A physical therapist will teach you exercises to make your knee stronger and help it bend. It is important to do these exercises regularly. You may need to use a cane or walker for several weeks after the surgery. It will probably also be several weeks before you can drive. Your doctor will tell you when you can start driving again.

Most people who follow their recovery instructions can get back to nearly all of their normal daily activities within 3 to 6 weeks after surgery.

What Are The Risk Factors For A Failed Knee Replacement

Age, activity level, surgical history and a persons weight can contribute to implant failure. Younger, active patients, people who are obese, and those who have had prior knee surgeries all have a higher increased risk of a failed implant.

Younger, more active patients have a higher rate of revision than older, less active patients because they place more stress on their prosthesis over more time. Obese patients have a higher incidence of wear and loosening because of the increased force of their weight, and they are more prone to infections because of their increased risk of wound healing. Patients with previous knee surgeries are at higher risk for infection and implant failure.

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Risks Of The Procedure

As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Some possiblecomplications may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bleeding

  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs

  • Loosening or wearing out of the prosthesis

  • Fracture

  • Continued pain or stiffness

The replacement knee joint may become loose, be dislodged, or may not workthe way it was intended. The joint may have to be replaced again in thefuture.

Nerves or blood vessels in the area of surgery may be injured, resulting inweakness or numbness. The joint pain may not be relieved by surgery.

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Besure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.

What Are The Advantages Of Partial Knee Replacement Over Total Knee Replacement

What are the risks and complications of knee revision surgery?

Compared to total knee replacement, partial knee replacement better preserves range of motion and knee function because it preserves healthy tissue and bone in the knee. For these reasons, patients tend to be more satisfied with partial knee replacement compared with total knee replacement. They are still candidates for total knee replacement should they ever need it in the future.

There is also less blood loss during surgery, and knee motion recovers faster with partial knee replacement.

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Risks Of Knee Surgery And The Alternatives

  • Risks of Knee Surgery and the Alternatives
  • Belleview Spine and Wellness

    When it comes to knee pain, an effective recovery may be your top priority. Knee pain can easily disrupt your everyday activities and become a frustrating condition to live with. Knee surgery, such as a knee replacement, can often carry risks and problems. Knee surgery can be avoided or postponed in some cases. At Belleview Spine and Wellness, we provide a range of non-surgical alternatives, including injections and therapy treatment, to keep you moving without having to go under the knife.

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