Knee replacement

kneerep20A knee replacement is an operation commonly performed for knee osteoarthritis, (commonly known as wear and tear of the joint.) This is usually a condition where both the smooth articular surface of the joint is worn away and the bone underneath it is collapsed or deformed. Such an operation is only usually recommended when conservative treatments such as low-impact exercise, weight loss, anti-inflammatories, braces, injections of steroid, and/or lubricant injections, or operations such as keyhole surgery to wash the knee out, have been tried and failed; or, when the disease presents in an advanced stage.

Symptoms of knee arthritis

These are usually pains in the front or side of the knee, the pain can spread down the shin. The knee may be swollen and stiff and may in lock catch or give way. The knee may not fully straighten and \ or become bow legged or knock-kneed.

There is usually a degree of limping. Patients often have taken to using a stick in the opposite hand.

Indications for surgery

I normally recommend surgery when the pains are severe, limiting walking to short distances and when they are present at rest and night time and /or when they are poorly controlled by strong pain-killers

I would examine you and organise an X-ray (unless you have undergone one in the past three months), which in many cases will confirm the diagnosis, but occasionally in subtle cases, MRI scans or bone scans may be required.

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