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What are some complications following knee replacement?

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Knee replacement includes the risks of infection, heart attack, stroke, blood clots and nerve damage. There is also the risk that after several years, the artificial joint wears out and requires subsequent replacement, according to the Mayo Clinic. Patients that reduce their high impact activities and keep their weight within the recommend range reduce the wear on the artificial joint.

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NHS Choices warns patients of the signs of a developing blood clot after surgery, including reddened, hot, painful or hard areas in the legs within the first few weeks after the procedure. While this is sometimes just bruising because of the surgery, it may indicate the formation of a blood clot. The surgeon needs to examine the leg to evaluate the condition. Surgery also has the potential to cause formation of a blood clot on the lung, which requires immediate treatment.

According to the Mayo Clinic, redness, tenderness and drainage sometimes indicate an infection. Other signs of a problem include fevers over 100 degrees Fahrenheit or chills. Patients who suffer infections require subsequent surgeries to remove the artificial joint, medication for the infection and a new implant after clearing the condition. Infections reduce the chances of a successful replacement.

Although there are risks with the procedure, WebMD reports most patients see dramatic improvement after the surgery. They stay in the hospital for three to five days and are able to enjoy most activities after healing.

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