By Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Sam Rajaratnam FRCS (Tr&Orth)
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a very common cause of knee pain, the feeling of the knee ‘giving way’ and swelling.
Whilst conservative treatment including pain killers, steroid or cartilage protein injections and physiotherapy can be helpful in the early stages, most people with Osteoarthritis of the knee will eventually require knee replacement surgery.
What does knee replacement surgery involve?
Knee replacement surgery has advanced tremendously over the last 30 years and is now one of the most successful operations performed throughout the world. The National Joint Registry recorded 160,000 hip and knee joint replacement procedures are performed in England annually. In years gone by, the replacement itself formed a hinge to the knee joint, but modern knee replacements are surface replacements only. They work by removing the arthritic surface of the knee and capping it with an artificial surface. It is custom fitted to the patients’ anatomy by an expert surgeon.
Modern replacement design allows an excellent range of motion once the patient has fully recovered. Generally, a low dose spinal anaesthetic allows the patient to start moving their knee on the same day of the joint replacement and start walking either on the same night or the next morning following surgery. Most patients are able to return home having been able to climb up and down a flight of stairs safely within a couple of days of their joint replacement. It is very important that the patient continues to exercise their knee after discharge home.
The Horder Centre is proud of achieving some of the best National results following Knee Replacement surgery each year, with extremely low rates of complications. The overall patient satisfaction rate of a well done joint replacement with a rapid recovery programme is in the region of 94%, with the majority of patients being able to walk long distances, play golf, cycle, swim and lead an active lifestyle and a life without pain.