Understanding Knee Replacement
Knee Replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the damaged cartilage is replaced by metallic and plastic parts, called prostheses.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is performed when the knee is completely damaged.
Knee Replacement (PKR) can be performed when only isolated compartment(s) of the knee is damaged, typically the medial (inner) compartment.
Common Conditions for TKR & PKR
Your doctor may recommend TKR or PKR to you if you have:
Severe pain in the knee that restricts your
Severe wear and tear of the knee due to conditions such as Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Post Traumatic Arthritis
Pain that does not respond well to
non-surgical options, such as weight management, medications and injections
Benefits of TKR & PKR
In most cases, a TKR or PKR surgery will relieve your knee pain and help your knee joint move better. You should be able to resume most of your daily activities such as walking and driving gradually.
Types of Prostheses
1. Total Knee Replacement Prostheses
2. Partial Knee Replacement Prostheses
Limitations of TKR & PKR
However, as the prosthesis is not a perfect replacement for a natural knee, you will have to avoid high-impact activities such as jumping or running, which places excessive stress on the knee.
More Information on Knee Replacement
You should inform your doctor of any medications you are currently taking, for example aspirin, or any known drug allergies you may have.
There will be a pre-operative education programme before the surgery to teach you what to prepare and how to prepare for the surgery
Arrange for someone to care for you after discharge from hospital
Before the procedure, you will be given either general or spinal anaesthesia.
The surgery should take about 2 to 3 hours.
The metal components are secured to the ends of femur or tibia by bone cement, and a plastic liner is attached in between to allow the femoral component to glide smoothly over the tibia and support the body weight.
You may experience post-operative pain following knee replacement. Your doctor will give you medications to manage the pain.
You may also experience some stiffness in your operated leg. While at rest, you will be wearing compression pumps to encourage blood flow and anti-embolism stockings to help prevent blood clot formation in the deep veins (called Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT).
To aid recovery, you will need to undergo rehabilitation programme with our physiotherapist or nurse, who will set specific goals for you to achieve.
Risks Associated with TKR Surgery
While serious post-operation complications are not common in TKR or PKR patients, some potential complications may occur such as (but not limited to):
Your doctor will explain the risks to you in detail during your consultation. You will also be assessed on your health condition before the operation.
Length of Hospital Stay
Patients who have undergone TKR procedure and have no complications usually stay in the hospital for 2 to 4 days.
For PKR procedure, patients usually stay in the hospital for 1 to 2 days.
Your length of stay is dependent on how well you recover. Participating in physiotherapy sessions will help you recover faster.
You are encouraged to go home as soon as you are able to and recover in the comfort of your own home.