Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
What is a Total knee Replacement (TKR)
A TKR is an operation where the surfaces of the joint are replaced by plastic/metal for the treatment of arthritis. The end of the thigh bone (femur) and the top of the shin bone (tibia) are replaced with artificial components in an operation that can take between 1-3 hours. Once there is severe degeneration it is advisable to have a Partial or a TKR if all other treatments have been unsuccessful. A TKR is a very common operation and in most cases very successful. In modern knee replacements, they can last for at least 20 years in 80% of patients and many get back to doing sports such as Tennis, Biking, Swimming and recreational activities like hill walking.
What can I expect after the operation?
You will have pain after the operation and this is expected. There will be swelling and bruising and It is important to manage your pain well by taking the medication prescribed by the hospital or your GP. Normally you are encouraged to be as independent as possible. You will be instructed how to use Elbow crutches or a frame after some bed exercises and the Hospital Physiotherapist will get you standing and moving for the first time. Once you are ready to be discharged you will be instructed on Stairs, Self-care and any other concerns you may have.
How do I recover?
Following your TKR and you are discharged it is important to take the medication prescribed by your consultant and GP to help manage your pain. Many people are advised to use Ice therapy at home such as devices like the Cryocuff or Game ready. If you don't have access to these it is advisable to have Ice packs at home. This will help reduce pain and help manage your swelling and muscle recovery.
As a Physiotherapist, I may perform manual therapy to help your joint and muscle stiffness and I will prescribe a bespoke exercise programme for you and your knee. This will help increase your mobility, strength and daily activity. I will advise in all areas from self home care, walking, stairs, and how to progress your mobility, strength and exercise tolerance. As you progress I will instruct you on how to increase your fitness, exercise, recreational activities and return to sport if you wish.
My objective is to help you in achieving your goals 100% of what you expect from your TKR. If required I will liaise with your Consultant GP to help your recovery.