Knee replacement

How long will I be in hospital?
Most people stay in hospital for 5 nights after this procedure.

When will the stitches (sutures) be removed?

The sutures will be removed 10-14 days after surgery.

Will my knee be swollen after this operation?
It is common for the knee to remain swollen for up to 3 months after this procedure.

Will the knee be painful after this procedure?
You may experience pain for 6-8 weeks after this operation which is often worse at night.  You will be given appropriate pain-killers (analgesics) when you leave hospital.

When will I start physiotherapy?
You will start physiotherapy the day after surgery, and arrangements will be made for you to continue with physiotherapy after you leave hospital.

How much time will I need to take off work?
Most people need 6-8 weeks off work, depending on how quickly the knee heals and how long the pain from the surgery lasts.

Will I need any help from family or friends after I leave hospital?
Before you are discharged from hospital, we will make sure that you are independently mobile, that is, you can walk up and down the stairs and along corridors without help.

What are the possible complications of this procedure?
Possible complications that may occur include:
• Blood clots developing in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) that can travel up to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).  Precautions are taken to try and prevent this whilst you are in hospital and after your discharge.
• Infection; the chances of this are low and precautions are taken to prevent this
• Nerve injury; there is a small risk of damaging a nerve in the leg but this is extremely rare.

Post-operative concerns that are normal following knee replacement – don’t be alarmed
• For the first few weeks after a knee replacement, it is not uncommon to feel a clicking sensation when the knee is moved
• You may experience numbness over the outside part of the knee which slowly improves
• It is common for the knee to swell after exercise in the first few weeks following surgery
• It is common for the knee to feel warm for the first 6 months after the operation
• Many people feel very tired for between 6-8 weeks after surgery, and can experience night pain, insomnia and, occasionally, depression.

Concerns that are not normal following knee replacement and must alert you back to see Mr Carrington:
• Increasing redness about the wound site
• Increasing pain and swelling at the wound site
• Temperature over 38° C
• Any fluid coming out of the wound site
• Painful calf swelling
• Chest pain
• Shortness of breath