Tag Archives: total knee replacement

knee replacement surgery

Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacementsurgery isnow a very common and successful orthopaedic operation, with the number of knee replacements performed each year increasing. In 2016, there were almost 60 thousand knee replacements performed in Australia.

Knee replacements are performed when a knee joint has become so arthritic or damaged that it can no longer function without causing severe pain and discomfort.

Other modalities / therapeutic methods that may play a role prior to replacement include:

  • Exercise, weight loss or physiotherapy
  • Medications such as anti-Inflammatories (e.g. Voltarin, Mobic, Naprosyn)
  • Injections: Steroids or Synvisc
  • Arthroscopy

A knee replacement is the last resort when the above treatment options have failed.

What is a Total Knee Replacement?

Technically, a knee replacement should really be called a “knee resurfacing”, as the knee isn’t replaced in its entirety. The only part Dr Benjamin Hewitt replaces is the worn-out surface cartilage.

During knee replacement, these parts are removed and a new bearing surface, made of metal or plastic, is cemented in position. The aim of this is a pain free and mobile joint post-recovery.

A knee replacement should really be called a knee resurfacing as not all the knee is replaced. The only part that I replace is the worn-out surface cartilage. During a knee replacement, these parts are removed and a new bearing surface made of metal and plastic is cemented in position. The aim is a pain free and mobile joint.

knee replacement

Do I Need My Whole Joint Replaced?

In most patients, only half of their knee is worn out, usually the inner side of the knee, and therefore only half of this needs to be replaced.

This is great option for surgery, as a half knee replacement is a much smaller operation. This means a quicker recovery period, and often the knee feels better than after a whole knee replacement.

total knee replacement

What is Involved in Getting a Knee Replacement?

Timing: Once you’ve decided on knee replacement, all you need to do is pick a suitable time and Dr Benjamin Hewitt will do the rest.

Location: The best results post-knee replacement come from high volume surgeons working at high volume facilities. Dr Benjamin Hewitt performs his knee replacements at Hollywood Hospital. He firmly believes this is the best joint replacement hospital in Australia. Excellent nursing staff and state of the art theatresmakeit the ideal environment for your surgery and post-operative care.

Day of surgery: On the day of your surgery, we ask you arrive at Hollywood Hospital early in the morning. The specialist nursing staff will check you in and prepare you for your operation. The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and takes 1 to 2 hours to perform.

After your operation: Our aim is to make you as comfortable and pain free as possible. The day after your operation, our physiotherapists will commence your custom rehab programme and get you up and walking.

Length of hospital stay: As a rule of thumb, after 3-4 nights you’re normally safe to walk around unassisted. Once comfortable and safe, you’re ready for discharge.

My Neighbour Had a Knee Replacement That Didn’t Work

We are constantly hearing this, and believe it or not, there are people who’ve had knee replacements and aren’t happy. Most people who’ve undergone knee replacement are improved, finding they can walk further, their leg is straighter, and they have little or no pain.

Occasionally, some patients do suffer complications that can affect their recovery. Having said that, we firmly believe most patients who end up unhappy have had unrealistic or incorrect expectations.

Knee replacement is considered the last resort of treatment. It is for people crippled or severely disabled by pain or deformity. So, before you consider the surgery, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Can you only walk 200m before stopping due to pain?
  • Do you take a lot of tablets every day for your pain?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping due to pain?

If the answers are no, then perhaps we need to consider alternative options.

Total knee replacement is now a routine, major operation. It is a good option as a last resort for the severely arthritic knee. Contact us today for a consultation with Dr Benjamin Hewitt to discuss your options, or schedule your surgery.

knee replacement surgery

Expectations After Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is one of the most commonly performed orthopaedic operations in Australia with a very high success rate.

I perform about 100 knee replacements every year.

This article is designed to provide an insight into what you can expect following a knee replacement. And it will also bedetailing what you can do to maximise your recovery.

Before your knee replacement surgery

Once you have decided that a knee replacement is your best treatment option my team will help you pick a date for surgery.

Pre-hab is worthwhile. We encourage all our patients to try to stay as fit and healthy as possible. Good muscle strength before your operation often equates to a fast rehab.

So in the week before your knee replacement surgery Hollywood Hospital will contact you for an pre-admission assessment. This is an opportunity for our team to ensure there are no medical problems that may compromise your recovery. Andalso for you to ask any questions.

You will be admitted on the day of surgery , usually at 0630 am.

Early recovery / Hospital stay

After the operation you will be transferred back to the ward. The nursing staff will keep a close watch over you. Theyensure that you are comfortable and able to sleep off the anaesthetic peacefully.

Day 1 after the operation is a big day. Your leg will be x-rayed and a blood test performed.

The physiotherapists will stand you out of bed and ,if you feel up to it , you can start do some gentle walking. Most of your drips and catheters will come out today so you can have a shower.

With each day your knee should become more comfortable. And you will begin to walk greater distances. Normally after 2 days you are taking just a few tablets for pain.

The physiotherapy team will assist you walking. A physiotherapist will help with some simple leg exercises after knee replacement surgery.

During the first couple of weeks following knee replacement surgery it is vital that you do not overwork the knee. I advise to do only what you are comfortable with. Definitely do not push through any discomfort.

We let you go home when you are safe, comfortable and confident of being able to look after yourself. On average my patients spend 4 nights in hospital.

After leaving Hospital

When you leave hospital you will have enough medications to control any discomfort till your next appointment. This is usually within 1 week of your discharge.

There is no urgency with regards to exercising the knee. It is important to let the swelling subside before beginning strengthening exercises.

Most patients make steady gradual improvements in all aspects of their knee function in the months following kneereplacement surgery.

By 2 weeks most patients are only taking occasional pain relief. By 5 weeks not using any walking aids such as a crutch or stick. The majority of patients are driving by 4-6 weeks.

It is important to remember that my job is not just performing your knee replacement surgery. Ialso coordinate and advise you on your ongoing rehabilitation.

As always, my goal is for you to achieve the best possible outcome in symptom relief. And finallyimprovement of function in the shortest time possible. Contact me for an appointment.

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