What Are the Benefits and Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery?


Quick Answer

The main benefits of knee replacement surgery are pain relief and restoration of function in seriously diseased knee joints, while risks include infection, nerve damage, blood clots, stroke and heart attack, according to Mayo Clinic. It is also possible for artificial joints to wear out over time.

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What Are the Benefits and Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery?
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Full Answer

Most individuals who undergo total knee replacement surgery notice significantly reduced knee pain and experience better ability to perform daily activities, although having artificial joints does not mean they can engage in high-impact activities, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Artificial knees often last for a long time with proper use and adjustment of activities.

People with knee replacements should avoid strenuous activities, such as jumping, jogging and running, because these can speed the natural wear and tear that causes knee replacements to become loose and painful, recommends the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Biking, playing golf, swimming and driving are several low-impact activities that do not add stress on artificial joints.

Very few patients suffer severe complications, such as knee joint infections, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Patients with chronic diseases may have a higher risk of developing complications. The occurrence of complications usually limits or extends a patient's full recovery. To prevent blood clots, doctors prescribe blood thinners, compression boots or a special support hose. It is also important for patients to take preventive antibiotics if they plan to undergo dental or surgical procedures after knee replacement.

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