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Tuesday 26 March 2019
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Total knee replacement

Total knee replacement surgery


If you are considering knee replacement surgery, you have come to the right page. Here at Private Healthcare UK, it is our mission to provide you with a plethora of information regarding total knee replacement surgery to help you prepare for the procedure. Whether you have decided to have the procedure or are still in the planning stages, we can help.



Expert advice on knee replacement surgery


Knee replacement surgery aims to ease the pain caused by wearing of the cartilage in the knee joint. A total knee replacement can improve range and motion of the knee and ease the pain caused by arthritis.


As with any operation, there are certain risks involved and our website aims to arm you with everything you need to know about the positives and negatives of total knee replacement surgery. We understand that committing to total knee replacement surgery is a big decision and that is why we are dedicated to providing you with vital information on all aspects of the procedure including the benefits and the risks.


We can provide you with information on the following:


  • Alternative treatments
  • The risks of knee replacement surgery
  • The procedure itself
  • Why you need knee replacement surgery






Find your nearest knee replacement specialist online


At Private Healthcare UK, you can gain access to a database of over 2, 500 specialists that are based in the UK. Finding a specialist in your local area is easy. Simply enter your postcode to find a knee replacementspecialist near you.



The information here is a guide to common medical practice. Each hospital and doctor will have slightly different ways of doing things when carrying out knee replacement surgery, so you should follow their guidance where it is different from the information given here. Because all patients, conditions and treatments vary it cannot cover everything. Use this information when making your knee replacement surgery choices with your doctors. You should mention any worries you have. Remember that you can ask for more information at any time.


What is the problem?

You have arthritis of your knee joint. This is causing you pain in the joint. You may have reduced movement of the joint.


What is a knee joint?

The knee is quite a complex hinge joint. It is formed by the ends of the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia). The kneecap (patella) moves over and protects the joint at the front.

The inside of a knee

The thighbone has 2 smooth, rounded joint surfaces. They move on the nearby flat joint surfaces of the shinbone.


Normally, to reduce friction, the surfaces of each bone are covered with a layer of cartilage that allows the bones to move smoothly on each other. Cartilage is the white glistening layer that you see on the end of a lamb or chicken bone where it forms a joint.

X-ray of knee


What has gone wrong?

The cartilage in your knee joint has worn away. The underlying bone surfaces are now rubbing against each other. This is why your knee is stiff and painful.


The aims

The aim is to replace your knee joint with an artificial joint. This is called a total knee replacement or TKR for short.

X-ray and Image of knee


The Benefits

The operation should stop the pain in your knee. The range of movement in your knee may improve. As a result you will be able to walk further and climb stairs more easily.


Are there any alternatives?

We can inject steroid or other medicines into the knee joint. If the arthritis is not too severe, injections may relieve some of your pain. The effect of the injections usually only lasts a few months. Physiotherapy can help reduce the pain if your arthritis is not too advanced.


What if you do nothing?  

The condition is not dangerous in itself. However, without an operation your knee will get more painful and less mobile.


Who should have it done?

You should have your knee replaced if:


  • The pain in your knee interferes with your life
  • Tablets do not make the pain bearable
  • X-rays show that your joint is severely damaged by arthritis


Who should not have it done?

You should not have knee replacement surgery if you have angina (chest pains) or shortness of breath that limits your walking more than your knee pain. You should not have a knee replacement if you have a urinary infection (UTI). This may result in infection of your new knee. We will test your urine. If it is infected, we will give you antibiotics before your operation. You should not have a knee replacement if you are a man with prostate problems. If you have poor urinary flow, it is better to have this investigated and treated before your knee is replaced.


Author: Mr Boyd Goldie MBBS FRCS BSC DHMSA. Consultant in orthopaedics & trauma.

© Dumas Ltd 2006

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