What is Total Knee Replacement (Unilateral) ?
Unilateral knee replacement is a procedure in which one knee is operated. In this surgery, a diseased weight-bearing surface of the knee is replaced with an implant, which can be made up of various artificial material such as metal, titanium, chrome cobalt, polyethylene. Bone cement is used in repair and fixing the implant. The choice of the implant varies from person to person.
In this procedure, general or spinal anesthesia is given. The surgery takes about 1-1.5 hours to complete. The surgeon shaves the relatively thin amount of bone from the end of the thigh bone, top of the leg bone and underside of the kneecap. This allows for snugly fit the implant. After the surgery is completed, a dressing will be placed on the operated knee area. A drainage tube may be placed to help drain excess fluids from the joint post surgery.
You will be admitted to the hospital and you shall undergo medical investigations required prior to surgery. Investigation reports are evaluated and you are explained about the procedure. Pre-anaesthetic check-up (PAC) is conducted and your consent for the procedure is taken.
You would be moved to OT. You would undergo spinal anesthesia and surgery will then be performed. After the surgery, you will be shifted to the normal hospital room. Pain medications would be started. You may have an X-Ray of the operated joint.
You would wear a knee immobilizer and undergo cold therapy unit on the knee. Our rehabilitation team would help you in getting mobilized.
You will get out of bed with walker or cane and perform post-operative exercises. You will be discharged with follow up instructions on medications and physiotherapy.
It takes about 4-8 weeks for complete recovery after surgery. You would be asked to visit the doctor after 8-10 following surgery for incision inspection and stitches/stapler removal.
During 1-3 weeks after surgery, you would need walking aids, either walker or cane can be used. You may need an elevated commode seat and grab bar in the washroom for safety. During these weeks you would be encouraged to walk and undergo rehabilitation exercises. The same shall continue till6 weeks following which regular activity can be undertaken.
While recovering you would need to follow specific precautions provided to you by your therapists which include-
- Do not pivot or twist your operated leg.
- Do not kneel or squat.
In general, the patients recover well and would need routine follow-up, however, you may need to visit the hospital in an emergency in the case following occur-
- You have increasing pain in the operative site.
- There is increased redness, swelling, warmth or discharge from the operated site.
- If your ability to flex(bend your knee) has decreased or remains the same as when you were discharged from the hospital.
- You have a temperature above 101 for more than 24 hours.