(Knee Arthroplasty; Total Knee Replacement)
|Total Knee Replacement|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Ease knee pain and disability due to arthritis or previous severe knee injury
- Correct a knee deformity
- Excess bleeding
- Blood clots
- Chronic weakness in knee joint
- Worsening or unchanged pain
- Poor nutrition
- History of blood clots
- Long-term illness
- Use of certain medications
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Arrange for a ride home.
- Arrange for help at home while you recover.
- Talk to your doctor about any allergies you have.
- Ask your doctor about assisted devices you will need.
- If you are overweight, lose weight. This will help to decrease the amount of stress on your new joint.
- Install safety equipment in the bathroom, shower, and on the stairs.
- Prepare a bedroom on the first floor if possible. Climbing stairs will be difficult at first.
- Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin
- Anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- A splint or brace to hold the knee in the right position
- Pain medication
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Medication that prevents blood clots
- Slowly move your knee
- Restore function
- Decrease swelling
- Improve circulation
- Move your foot and ankle to increase blood flow back to your heart.
- Wear support stockings. These may help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.
- Work with a physical therapist. You may start the day after surgery. You will learn safe ways to move your knee and support your weight.
- Wear a brace or splint. You will learn how to use a walker, crutches, or other support devices.
- Keep the incision area clean and dry. Place a clean dressing over it.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Start working with a physical therapist once you are instructed to. The therapist will focus on balance, range-of-motion, and strength training.
- Maintain a healthy weight after surgery.
- Follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- Swelling, redness, or pain in your legs, calves, or feet
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Your leg, foot, or toes appear chalky white, blue, or black
- Numbness or tingling in your leg, foot, or toes
- Pain, burning, urgency, frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Knee replacement surgery procedure. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test%5Fprocedures/orthopaedic/knee%5Freplacement%5Fsurgery%5Fprocedure%5F92,P07673/. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Total knee arthroplasty. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated April 22, 2013. Accessed May 3, 2013.
Total knee replacement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00389. Updated December 2011. Accessed May 3, 2013.
4/16/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Harmer AR, Naylor JM, Crosbie J, Russell T. Land-based versus water-based rehabilitation following total knee replacement: a randomized, single-blind trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2009;61:184-191.
6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/03/2013 -