Your surgeon will remove the worn ends of the bones in your knee and replace them with metal and plastic parts, which are measured to fit your body.
Most patients require a total knee replacement but some patients are suitable to have only part, or one side, of the joint replaced, known as a partial, or unicompartmental knee replacement. Your surgeon will discuss the most suitable option for you.
Most people will return to a very good level of function after knee replacement surgery but it is important to remember that it will not be a normal knee joint, rather a prosthetic one, and you will not necessarily be able to do all the things you were once able to do.
Your risk of complications is greater if you are overweight, you smoke or you have not been very active before your surgery. You can help to reduce your risk of complications by stopping smoking, losing weight and maintaining strong muscles to help support the knee replacement after your operation. You may want to talk to your GP or health professional about what you can do to improve your health and reduce your risk of complications.
You will be expected to be up and active the day after, and sometimes even the day of, surgery. Every day tasks such as walking and getting dressed will be encouraged to return to normal almost straight after your operation. For the first six weeks after your surgery will likely need to use a walking aid such as crutches to help you.
You may start driving again six to 12 weeks after your surgery, although you should check this with your insurance company.
It can take up to two years to fully recover from a knee replacement operation. Your muscles will only be restored through doing exercise, which your physiotherapist will support you with.
Once you’ve had your surgery, you will be required to complete a questionnaire so we can check the outcome of the surgery. You will need to repeat this questionnaire over different time points so we can monitor your progress.
You will also see your surgical team at various time points after the operation to monitor the knee replacement.
If you experience any problems, or you are concerned about your knee replacement after your operation it is important that you discuss this with a health professional.