Uni- Compartmental Knee Replacement

Possible Complications

This is a very successful operation, but there are some risks associated with any type of surgery. These include Anaesthetic - Modern anaesthetics are generally very safe. The anaesthetist will explain any particular risks to you. Infection - There is a small risk of infection of the joint following the operation but you will be given antibiotics to help prevent this. If after you get home you notice fever, increased pain, swelling and redness around the wound, please phone contact our office. Deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a leg vein) - You may have anti- coagulant medication and support stockings to help prevent it. A symptom of this may be an acute pain in your calf. Please contact us urgently. Loosening - Your new knee may become loose with time or eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Please talk to Professor Haddad before your operation if you have concerns about possible risks. We hope the information provided has been of benefit to you. For further information please contact us on 0207 935 6083.   All patients will need a full blood count on day 1 and again days 4 and 7 if still in Hospital for thrombocytopenia although the incidents of HIT with low dose prophylaxis seems to be much lower than initially feared. 

General home advice

You can expect some pain but not the same sort of pain as you had before the operation. The time it lasts will vary from a few days, to several weeks; everyone is different. It is important to take your painkillers as advised. Swelling and bruising may take up to 6-8 weeks to disappear; for some it can last up to 6 months. The clips or stitches and paper strips (steri- strips) closing your wound, will normally be removed 7 - 10 days after the operation, in the ward or by the nurse at your review appointment with Professor Haddad in the clinic. This appointment will have been booked prior to your operation. After your stitches and steri- strips have been removed you can have a shower or bath once we have shown you how to use it safely. Until then your wound will need to stay covered with a waterproof dressing. When in bed, take care not to remain in one position for too long to prevent your heels, ankles or back getting sore; change your position every one to two hours. Try to gradually increase your activity each day by walking as well as continuing your exercises. You must not drive or resume any sporting or gardening activities until you have seen Professor Haddad and he has cleared you to do so.

Rehabilitation Programme

A physiotherapist will visit you on the day after your surgery and begin teaching you how to use your new knee. You may be fitted with a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine that will slowly and smoothly straighten and bend your knee.

Pain relief

Good pain relief is important and some people need more pain relief than others.

It is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets bad.

Pain relief can be increased, given more often, or given in different combinations.

Please ask help from the nurses on the ward if you are in any discomfort.

After the operation

Immediately after the operation you will be transferred to the recovery room where you will remain until Professor Haddad and the anaesthetist are satisfied that you have recovered sufficiently before you are transferred back to the ward. You will have:
  1. A drip, (a fine tube) inserted into a vein in your arm that supplies fluids or blood.
  2. A bulky dressing around the knee and a drain to remove any fluid build up around the knee.
  3. One or two drains (small tubes) may be used to drain away fluids and reduce swelling around the operation site. These are usually removed after 24 hours.