The operation - in the recovery room
After the operation, you will be taken to the recovery room and your vital signs will be monitored extra, such as blood pressure, breathing, pain and blood loss. If you are stable, you may return to the ward.
In the post-operative department
Once the spinal anaesthesia or general anaesthesia has worn off, you can immediately start to put 100% weight on your body under the supervision of the physiotherapist. First with a walker, later with 2 crutches. You will quickly learn how to walk to the bathroom and toilet on your own. The next day you will learn to climb stairs. Once the pain is under control and the wound is dry, you may go home.
The shower plaster can be left in place for 10-14 days, only to be replaced if it leaks through. Physiotherapy will help you to increase the load. Inside the house you will soon be able to walk with 1 crutch, outside with 1 crutch only after 4 weeks. You may drive a car only after you are able to walk outside comfortably with one crutch, usually after 5-6 weeks. You may only resume sports such as golf, swimming, dancing, tennis and outdoor cycling after 6 weeks.
Possible complications after knee replacement
- Pain around the kneecap 5%.
- Temporary numbness around the scar, probability 1.0
- Wound infection, chance 0.5 %
- Trombose, kans <0,5%
Pain around the kneecap
Some patients continue to suffer from kneecap problems when squatting, sitting on the knee, climbing stairs or exerting themselves heavily. In most cases, these symptoms disappear within the first year. If not, in some cases a decision can still be made to place a kneecap prosthesis.
Temporary dull spot around the scar
Traction during the operation or swelling after the operation can slightly damage a cutaneous nerve. Patients then have a temporary numbness around the scar of about 5-10 cm. In most cases, sensation returns completely within 4-6 months.
You are always given antibiotics around the operation, but sometimes you may be unlucky if the wound does not heal properly and continues to leak. If the leakage continues for more than 2 weeks, the operation wound must be flushed in the operating theatre. This is to prevent the bacteria from settling on the prosthesis and becoming difficult to remove. After the flushing operation (also called DAIR: Debridement, Antibiotics and Implant Retention), you will be given an antibiotic for a minimum of 6 weeks, first for 1-2 weeks via infusion, then as tablets. In more than 90% of patients, this is how the infection is controlled.
To reduce the risk of thrombosis, patients are given Heparin injections for 4 weeks, to be injected once a day into the abdominal fat or upper leg. You will be taught how to do this during your hospital stay.