Potential Complications – Knee Replacement Melbourne
Joint Infection – Joint infection may occur in less than 1% of cases. To minimise this risk, you will be given antibiotics at the time of surgery and for 48 hours afterwards. This is usually given through a drip. If there are special reasons, you may have an antibiotic continued for a longer period. If an infection occurs despite these precautions, you may need to go back to theatre to have the area washed out. Very occasionally, the knee joint may have to be removed and the operation repeated in the future.
Blood Clots – Blood clots in the legs may occur so this risk is reduced by giving you blood thinners via injection, using compression calf stockings and also a calf massaging device to increase the flow of blood from your legs to your heart. You can help by being mobile as soon as possible.
Pneumonia – Pneumonia sometimes occurs in patients who spend long periods in bed. When you lie down for long periods of time, your lungs collapse and sputum gets trapped in the squashed part of the lungs. You can prevent this by getting up soon after surgery and being as mobile as possible. If you get pneumonia, you will need antibiotics.
Heart Attack, Kidney Failure and Stroke – Heart attack, kidney failure and stroke may sometimes occur. To minimise the risk, all patients will be assessed before surgery and if there are any particular risk factors, these will need to be looked at before surgery to make you as fit as possible. A physician will look after you for this, and also after to make sure you remain as fit as possible. It is important to let your surgeon and physician know if there are any important aspects to your medical history before your surgery.
Stiffness and Pain – Stiffness and pain sometimes occurs following a knee replacement. It is important that you use as much painkiller as you need to bring the pain under control and allow you to exercise your knee. You are responsible for your own knee movement and must push yourself to get as much movement as possible.