Knee replacement surgery is the same idea as having most things
fixed—worn parts are taken out, and new parts are installed in their
places. In knee surgery, the damaged portions of the knee bones are
removed, and the knee is resurfaced with metal and plastic implants.
Here's what you can expect on a typical day of knee surgery:
- A small tube (intravenous line) is inserted into your arm.
This tube is used to administer antibiotics and other medication
during your surgery.
- You're taken to the operating room and
- Anesthesia takes effect, and your knee is
scrubbed and sterilized with a special solution.
replacement surgery usually takes between one and three hours, and
begins with an incision over your knee to expose the joint.
- Bones are fully visible to the surgeon, and special precision
guides and instruments are used to remove the damaged surfaces and
shape the ends of the bones to accept the implants.
implants are secured to the bones. It might also be necessary to
adjust the ligaments that surround your knee to achieve the best
possible knee function.
- When the surgeon is satisfied with
the fit and function of the implants, the incision is closed.
- A special drain may be inserted into the wound to drain the
fluids that naturally develop at the surgical site.
sterile bandage is applied.
- You're taken to the recovery
room, where you will be closely monitored.
- Anesthesia wears
off, and you slowly regain consciousness. A nurse is with you and
may encourage you to cough or breathe deeply to help clear your
lungs. You're given pain medication.
- You are fully awake
and are taken to your hospital room.
- Your knee remains
swollen and tender for a few days.