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Knee Orthopaedics
We can provide specialist advice on a wide range of conditions that cause recurrent knee pain. Treatments include total knee replacement, knee arthroscopy and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) repair.
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Orthopaedics

I have a knee condition, what are my next steps?

If you have been experiencing knee pain and are concerned that you may need a knee replacement, the first step is to make an appointment with your GP. You doctor will be able to perform a series of tests, including a physical examination, to identify the nature and location of the problem. Sometimes, further tests may be necessary such as an X-ray or ultrasound. 

Once your doctor has confirmed the results, you can discuss suitable treatment options available to you that will achieve the best outcome and recovery. Should your doctor consider a knee replacement or other knee surgeries, you will be provided with a referral for a consultation with an orthopaedic hip specialist at your nearest St Vincent’s Private Hospital.


orthopaedics knee model
  • Step 1

    GP
    Referral

    See your GP about getting a referral for your specialist appointment at your nearest St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

  • Step 2

    Specialist
    Consultation

    Talk to our world-leading specialists about the most suitable treatment options available to support your needs.

  • Step 3

    Your
    Treatment

    Experience the streamlined care available from our team of experts as we help support you through your hospital admission, procedure and rehabilitation.

  • Step 4

    Your
    Recovery

    Our rehabilitation team will guide you each step of the way as you regain your strength and independence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are many types of knee surgery that can treat discomfort and recurrent pain aside from total knee replacement surgery. When the cartilage damage is limited to just a small area of the knee joint, it is becoming more common to have a partial knee replacement. Many knee surgeries involve an arthroscopic procedure. This is a type of keyhole surgery that is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions including ACL reconstruction, meniscus trimming or repair and removing loose bodies.
Knee conditions that require surgery are usually caused by osteoarthritis or develop as a result of trauma. Osteoarthritis commonly affects large joints like the knee. Diseased cartilage causes the stiffness and pain during normal everyday activities. Knee surgery can help to restore joint function and relieve pain. Repeated trauma or injury to the knee can cause post-traumatic osteoarthritis which develops at a later stage, and which often leads to total knee replacement surgery.
There are many types of knee surgery that can treat discomfort and recurrent pain aside from total knee replacement surgery. When the cartilage damage is limited to just a small area of the knee joint, it is becoming more common to have a partial knee replacement. Many knee surgeries involve an arthroscopic procedure. This is a type of keyhole surgery that is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions including ACL reconstruction, meniscus trimming or repair and removing loose bodies. 

Knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when the worn ends of the bone and remaining hard cartilage are removed and replaced with metal and plastic parts. In a healthy knee, hard cartilage is there to protect the bones from rubbing up against each other. But when disease or injury disrupt this smooth function it can cause intense pain and discomfort. If the hard cartilage gets worn away, knee replacement surgery will remove the diseased areas of the knee joint and replace it with artificial parts. If only one side of your knee is affected, it is also possible to have a partial knee replacement. 

If you suffer from recurring knee pain and stiffness and you have already tried diet and exercise as well as simple analgesics, a surgical procedure could be the next step. Your doctor may recommend that you seek specialist advice if you are experiencing:

•    Difficulties with everyday tasks such as climbing the stairs, walking or getting up
•    Stiffness and pain even when resting

Any surgical procedure carries an element of complication. Your surgeon and orthopaedic care team will conduct a full assessment to determine your individual level of risk, and any appropriate action that may be required will be discussed with you at your consultation

You are likely to be on crutches for the first 2 weeks after surgery and your mobility and movement will be reduced. It’s a good idea to prepare for your recovery in advance, such as organising some help with your cooking, cleaning and shopping. Regular walking is crucial to your rehabilitation so make sure you have plenty of room to move around when you return home. You will need a comfortable seating area – ideally with a reclining seat to elevate your legs, and any necessary items such as glasses and phones should be kept nearby. It’s a good idea to set up a temporary sleeping area on the main level to avoid using the stairs. 

The first 12 weeks after your operation are very important to ensure an optimal recovery.

The cost of surgery is dependent on a number of factors that may vary between patients. These include Medicare rebates, your level of private health insurance and the cost of your surgical team which can differ between surgeons and hospitals. Our specialist staff are on hand to help.
 
Your recovery time will depend on your general health and the overall condition of your joints. It can take up to 3 months for any pain and stiffness to ease. This is a normal part of the recovery process and your condition will gradually progress using regular exercises to improve movement. The knee and ankle may be swollen for up to 3 months after your operation, but regular walks and icing should help with this. Always talk to your surgeon if you have any concerns as they may recommend an ultrasound to investigate any swelling.

Gaining excessive amounts of weight will hinder your recovery. It places increased pressure on your new joint in the long term which potentially reduces the lifespan of your implant. If you or your doctor suspect infection or have any increased pain after surgery, always contact your surgeon for advice.

Still have questions? Let us help you.

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FREE EBOOK

Common Knee Injuries

Find out what might be causing your knee pain with this guide to common knee injuries.