Knee replacement surgery

What is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries. It involves replacing the damaged part of a knee with an artificial joint which is typically made from plastic or metal.

Materials like acrylic cement are then used to attach the artificial joint to the kneecap, thigh bone and shin.

What are the four main types of knee
replacement surgery?

  • Total knee replacement, which replaces both the surfaces of
    thin and thigh bone

  • Partial knee replacement, which is sometimes used for
    arthritis sufferers

  • Kneecap replacement, which replaces the kneecap’s 
  • Complex knee replacement, typically for patients who have
    already had a knee replacement surgery.

Mr Mann will diagnose your condition and in the case of knee replacement surgery, can advise on the approach best suited to your personal needs.


What can I expect from the procedure?

Prior to knee replacement surgery, you will discuss the procedure with Mr Mann, and complete a consent form. Knee replacement surgery typically requires a general anaesthetic, and patients will discuss this with an anaesthetist prior to entering the operating room.

The surgery itself can last from one to two hours. Your expert surgeon will make an incision in the knee area before removing the damaged surfaces of the knee joint. The knee joint is then resurfaced with the prosthesis (artificial joint) before the incision is stitched or stapled up, and fluid removed from the area.

You will be carefully monitored post-surgery, and typically will stay in hospital for a few days, before returning home to rest.


Why might I need knee replacement surgery?

The most likely reason for someone to require knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, which is a condition that involves the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the bone and knee joints.

Other reasons for knee replacement surgery include: deformities such as bowed legs, loss of blood flow, rheumatoid arthritis and knee injuries such as a torn ligament or broken bone, such as the kind sustained through sports or repetitive strain.

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What is the recovery time?

Normal leisure activities can usually be resumed within six weeks of knee replacement surgery, although pain and swelling can take up to around three months to subside.

Mr Mann will be sure to advise on the best way to promote a quick and full recovery, ensuring that you’re back to feeling like yourself in no time.

If you have any questions about knee replacement surgery or would like to make an enquiry, please get in touch using the contact form.


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Postoperative period and recovery

Remember that below is a guide to recovery and that everyone heals at different rates and some people do take longer. Use this information to help you understand your condition, possible treatment and recovery. The timeframes given below are a minimum, it is important that you appreciate this when considering surgery as your healing and recovery may take longer.

After your operation, a routine enhanced programme of recovery will commence. The main parallel work streams of this programme are as follows:


Mobilisation is commenced on Day One. Gradually there is an increase in the frequency of transfers in and out of bed. This then progresses onto stairs and mobilisation to the toilet/shower and back. Before discharge, the patient is well rehearsed in the exercise routine and the knee should bend to at least ninety degrees. It is extremely important to remain well motivated and perform your exercises after discharge to fully optimise the range of motion of the newly replaced knee.

Occupational therapy

Will focus more on activities of daily living, functional transfers and adaptation of the home environment.

Pain control

During the operation, spinal anaesthesia with local infiltration of anaesthetic around the knee is used. After the operation regular oral medication is then used. Ask for extra if required. Before discharge required prescriptions are provided.

Wound therapy

It is perfectly ok to experience an ooze from the wound especially as one mobilises. Your dressing may require changing. Before discharge, the wound should be dry and arrangements will be in place for staple removal by your practice nurse.

Nutrition, fluids and excretion

Immediately after the operation intravenous (directly into the veins) fluids are given. Medications such as routine antibiotics are also given via this route. Urine output is carefully monitored. A bedside commode may be needed during the first postoperative day.

Normal diet is introduced as soon as possible. The urine catheter is removed once mobile. Bowel habit should also return to normal before discharge.

Personal Hygiene

On the first morning after the operation ablutions are performed at the bedside. Showering is then gradually introduced – at first with assistance and then independently.

Associated conditions

Knee osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition. It is a “wear and tear” process involving the joint cartilage. As the wear process progresses it produces abnormal joint loading which in turn leads to the gradual onset of pain, deformity and loss of function.

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