Total Knee Replacement

Inner West Hip & Knee Clinic

You do not have to live with a painful knee for the rest of your life. During knee replacement surgery your problem knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint (a prosthesis). After a total knee replacement, you can look forward to moving more easily and without pain.

A knee replacement is an elective surgery, replacing the bottom end of the femur and the top end of the tibia with a man made device (prosthesis). The back surface of the patella is also commonly resurfaced. Total knee replacement is not a complete solution to the problem as they become loose with time and may need to be revised (which means another operation) within ten to fifteen years.

These artificial joints are combinations of metal and plastic and sometimes ceramic materials. They are fixed to the bone either using bone cement or by using a prosthesis with a rough surface, which relies on your bone growing on to the implant for long term stability. It may be reinforced with screws on the tibial side. In between the two components is a special plastic liner made out of polyethylene.

Who is offered total knee replacement as an option?

Patients who have arthritis on their X-ray and pain and stiffness from their knee joint that causes:

  • Severe disability
  • Difficulty or inability to perform your job
  • Interference with your leisure activities
  • Interference with your walking or mobility
  • Difficulty putting on shoes and socks
  • Waking at night despite non operative treatment such as drugs
Or when conservative treatment such as analgesia, anti-inflammatories, weight loss, physiotherapy and aids like crutches or a cane has failed.

Remember that it is an elective procedure and should only be performed when you are no longer prepared to put up with your pain and disability and understand the benefits versus the risks involved.

Is the procedure safe?

Knee replacement procedures have come a long way since their beginning in Ancient Egypt. They are now a very commonly performed procedure and advancements continue to be made.

However, there are risks in any operation. You can read about the general complications here. Some complications specific to total knee replacement are:

  • Infection
  • Fracture
  • Stiffness
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels
  • Blood clots
  • Wound irritation or breakdown
  • Wear

  • Osteolysis
  • Damage to ligaments
  • Dislocation
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Cosmetic appearance
  • Leg length inequality
  • Breakage of the implant

For appointments and enquiries please phone   02 9735 3637

Inner West Hip & Knee Clinic
16 Robert Street
Ashfield NSW 2131

Waratah Private Hospital
Suite 204, Level 2
31 Dora Street
Hurstville NSW 2220
Fax: 02 9735 3635

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