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Total knee replacement surgery FAQs

 In Lakeview Private Hospital News

Dr Edward Graham

Dr Edward Graham

02 9679 7088

Lakeview Private Hospital Orthopaedics
Lakeview Private Hospital
Suite 1, 17-19 Solent Circuit.
Bella Vista NSW 2153

Total knee replacement surgery FAQs

1. Do I need the surgery?

Knee replacement is an elective procedure. I am not in the habit of convincing patients to have surgery; every surgery has risk. The time to have the procedure is when you are convinced it’s necessary.

2. Will I be awake?

I like to leave this decision up to the anaesthetist. The real question being asked is “Will I be aware and will I be in pain?” Patients will be monitored constantly. The anaesthetist will be present and providing specialist care during the entire procedure. Patients will come to a pre-operative clinic and see the anaesthetist, physiotherapist and rehabilitation team. They will have pre-operative investigations such as bloodwork, chest x-ray, ECG and urine tests. General and regional anesthetic options are available; usually spinal, general and PCA (patient controlled anesthesia). We will always do our best to keep patients comfortable and cared for at all times.

3. Do I keep my own patella?

Patients often think we remove the patella however this is not the case. A resurface procedure takes place 61 per cent of the time. The patella is everted and the superficial 7-8 mm of bone and cartilage are removed. I am selective in choosing which patellas should be resurfaced. Some patellas should be resurfaced such as patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Some should be left such as a thin patella with a high risk of fracture.

4. What is the prosthesis made of?

  • Metal femoral component
  • Plastic insert
  • Metal tibia component
  • Plastic patella button
  • The femoral component is an alloy of chromium, cobalt, molybdenum and nickel.
  • The tibial component is an alloy of titanium, aluminum and vanadium.
  • The common metal sensitisers are chromium, nickel and cobalt. For these patients we can use titanium.
  • Please note metal allergies are very rare.

5. How long will the prosthesis last?

In previous years, knee replacements were estimated to have a 10 year survivorship. This statistic has recently been revised to a 15 year survivorship. It is preferred to delay knee replacement surgery in a younger patient (such as a 55 year old patient) for the reason mentioned above. The average age for patients undergoing knee replacement is 65 to 75 years.

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