As with any operation, knee replacement surgery has risks as well as benefits. Most people who have a knee replacement don't experience serious complications.
Afterhaving aknee replacement, contact your doctor if:
Anaesthetics are extremely safe, but carry a risk of minor side effects such as sickness and confusion (usually temporary). There is also a slight risk of serious complications.
The risk of death in a healthy person having routine surgery is very small. Death occurs in around one in every 100,000 general anaesthetics given.
The risk is higher if you're older or have other health conditions, such as heart or lung disease.
Your anaesthetist and surgeon can answer questions you may have about your personal risks from anaesthetic or the surgery itself.
Complications occur in aboutone in 20 cases, but most are minor and can be successfully treated. Possible complicationsare described below.
In some cases, the new knee joint may not be completely stable and further surgery may be needed to correct it.
Wear and tear through everyday use meansyour replacement knee won't last forever. However, for most people it will last at least 15-20 years, especially if cared for properly and not put under too much strain.
Revision knee replacement surgery (replacing the replacement knee) is usually more complicated and a longer procedure than the original surgery. There's no set limit to the number of times you can have revision surgery, but it's widely accepted the artificial knee joint becomes less effective each time it's replaced.
Read about knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty), a procedure to replace a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint.
Read about how knee replacement surgery is performed. You'll usually be admitted to hospital on the day of your operation. The surgeon and anaesthetist will usually come and see you to discuss what will happen
Read about the risks of knee replacement surgery. As with any operation, knee replacement surgery has risks as well as benefits
Read about recovering from knee replacement surgery. Recovery times can vary depending on individual and the type of surgery performed.
Janet Collins has had both her knees replaced and can walk much better than before.