Knee replacement surgery involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee. The common symptoms related to problems with the knee joint include pain, swelling, stiffness, giving way and the feeling of something catching or locking.
Why Is Knee Replacement Surgery Needed?
The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. Other conditions that cause knee damage include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Knee injury
A knee replacement is major surgery, so is normally only recommended if other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections, haven't helped reduce pain or improve mobility.
You may need knee replacement surgery if:
- You have severe pain, swelling and stiffness in your knee joint and your mobility is reduced
- Your knee pain is so severe that it interferes with your quality of life
- You cannot work or have a normal social life
- You experience pain from exercise
After surgery the majority of patients will enter into an enhanced recovery programme. You will receive analgesia to support your recovery and the team will help you to stand and walk as soon as possible most commonly on the same day as your operation.
For the first four to six weeks after the operation you may require a walking aid such as crutches or a frame to help support you. You will be enrolled on an exercise programme that is designed to help you regain and then improve the use of your new knee joint. Most people are able to resume normal activities within two to three months but it can take up to a year before you experience the full benefits of your new knee.