If you have been suffering with a knee condition, the chances are you may wish to consider having an operation to correct the problem. Knee replacement surgery is an option for people who have damaged their knees significantly, usually via a sporting injury or through another type of accident.
As with any type of surgery, it is a big decision to make, and you will naturally have a lot of questions. Here are some answers to help you through some of the common questions by people considering whether or not to have knee replacement surgery.
What age is the ‘right age’ for this type of surgery?
There is no optimum age, the decision of whether or not this surgery is right for you must be taken by assessing your case on an individual level. Some people may have suffered an injury in their youth, which has brought the need to address the problem earlier in their life; others may simply be suffering from age related ‘wear and tear’ of the joints and may be much older when making this choice.
What type of anaesthetic is used during the operation?
This depends on the surgeon and on the nature of the work that needs to be done to conduct the operation. There are a variety of different methods available, ranging from full general anaesthetic to more localised options, and these can be discussed at length with your surgeon.
It is important to remember, anaesthesia is much safer nowadays compared with how it used to be. Your surgeon will be in possession of your full medical history so will be able to consider the most appropriate option for you and your case.
How long is the recovery period after surgery?
Generally speaking you should expect to be mobile again after just a couple of days – albeit with the aid of crutches to help support your weight. In the hours directly after you operation you can expect that physiotherapy will begin, you will be asked to stretch and bend your knee so that it does not stiffen more than can be helped.
The full healing process will differ depending on the age and health of the individual and also the complexity of the replacement. Most people will undergo several weeks, if not months, of physiotherapy before they are fully recovered.