1. How active can you be after the operation?
The answer to this lies within you. The more active you were before the knee got painful, the more active you are likely to be after. A positive outlook really helps. Your knee will be pain-free with a much better ranger of movement. Your muscles will be weak so physiotherapy will help.
2. When can I drive?
It is inadvisable to drive for 6 weeks after a joint replacement. Check with your insurance company.
3. What are the risks of knee replacement?
The risks of surgery are low. The most common complications are minor; superficial infection, blood clot (DVT), urinary or chest infection. These may prolong your stay in hospital by a few days.
They will occur in 2-4% of cases. You will be given medication to prevent infection and DVT and helped by the physiotherapists to walk in the early post-surgical phase.
There are more serious risks such as; stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolus (lung blood clot). The risk here is very small, less than half of one percent (0.2-0.4%), but no major operation is risk free. Your decision whether or not to have your operation is a question of risk versus benefit.
4. How long will I be in the hospital?
Patients normally stay in the hospital for 2 days after a knee replacement. The physiotherapists make sure that the patients are able to walk independently, with the help of crutches or walking frames, and negotiate stairs before being discharged from the hospital.
5. Is blood transfusion common after a joint replacement?
The chance of receiving blood transfusion after a knee replacement is less than 10%. In a fit and healthy person with high pre-operative haemoglobin the chances of blood transfusion is very low.
6. What is computer-assisted knee replacement?
A computer with specialized software is used in the operating room to assist the surgeon to achieve proper placement and alignment of the knee prosthesis. The system provides instant information on the boney alignment of the knee joint, the function and tensions of the ligaments required for knee stability, and the special cuts that must be made in the femoral and tibial bones to achieve a precise placement of the prosthesis.