Risks of knee joint replacement surgery:
As with any major surgery there are potential risks involved. The decision to proceed with the surgery is made because the advantages of surgery outweigh the potential disadvantages it is important that you are informed of these risks before the surgery takes place.
Infection: Infection can occur with any operation. In the knee this can be superficial or deep. Infection rates vary. If it occurs, it can be treated with antibiotics but may require further surgery.
Blood clots: These can form in the calf muscles and can travel to the lung. These can occasionally be serious and even life threatening. If you get calf pain or shortness of breath at any stage, you should notify your doctor.
Pneumonia: pneumonia can be developed in patients who are lying in bed right after operation.
Stiffness in the Knee: Ideally your knee should bend beyond 100 degrees but on occasion, the knee may not bend as well as expected. Sometimes manipulations are required. This means going to the operating room where the knee is bent for you and under anesthetic.
Wear: The plastic liner eventually wears out over time, usually 15 to 25 years and may need to be changed.
Leg length inequality: This is also due to the fact that a corrected knee is more straight and is unavoidable.
Cosmetic Appearance: The knee may look different than it was because it is put into the correct alignment to allow proper function.
Ligament injuries: There are a number of ligaments surrounding the knee. These ligaments can be torn during surgery or break or stretch out any time afterwards.
Damage to Nerves and Blood Vessels: Rarely these can be damaged at the time of surgery. If recognized they are repaired, but a second operation may be required. Nerve damage can cause a loss of feeling or movement below the knee and can be permanent.
Patella problems: Patella can dislocate. This means it moves out of place and it can break or loosen.