Knee Replacement

In excess of 1 million knee replacements are done worldwide every year. It is a common, and safe procedure to have performed, and can significantly improve your function, return you to the activities you previously enjoyed, and improve your knee range of motion to bend and straighten.

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Activities such as walking, golfing, bowling, and the beach can once again be enjoyed without the pain and limited distance/duration you’ve suffered. There is no “appropriate age” contrary to popular belief – Dr Murray can perform the procedure on patients younger or much older – depending on the cause, severity, and impact on your quality of life. Knee pain is driven by many factors, and Dr Murray will take you through the causes for why it occurs.

Dr Murray utilises a minimally invasive incision, however the cut over the knee skin may need to be adapted depending on your case. Often the incision can be 15cm or longer. The damaged cartilage, meniscus, and thin amount of bone (less than 1cm from the femur and tibia) are removed from the knee, and replaced.

It is a “Total knee replacement” as Dr Murray replaces the surfaces between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) along with removing the undersurface of the patella (kneecap). He replaces these with a metal end to attach to the surfaces of the femur and tibia that are cemented in position, with a polyethylene (hard plastic) between the two to allow smooth movement between the surfaces, and polyethylene to the back of the patella to allow it to glide on the surface of the new end of the femur.

Your hospital length of stay depends on your medical background, prior activity level, home setup, family supports amongst many other things, but importantly also depends on how you progress after surgery. Dr Murray, his postoperative specialist physician, and physiotherapy team will see you daily following surgery and assess your suitability to return home, but generally it is between 2 and 5 days in hospital. Nearly all patients return directly home without the need for rehabilitation – which is a common misconception after a knee replacement.

Pain is unfortunately a trade off each patient must encounter; trading your arthritic knee with pain that has no end date – and will only continue to wax and wane over years, for surgical pain, which can vary from patient to patient but generally has a short term end date. We all experience pain differently – and Dr Murray, his anaesthetist, and physician will all work to make you as comfortable as you can be during your recovery. Returning to a better quality of life where your everyday activities are no longer limited by pain is significant.

Most knee replacements are very successful and patients are delighted when they return to a quality of life they once enjoyed. There are some risks associated with this surgery of course, and Dr Murray will go through these with you if you are appropriate for this surgery.

If you are experiencing a loss of your quality of life, suffering from pain and stiffness, and unable to do the activities you once loved, then contact us today to discuss if you are appropriate for a knee replacement.

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