Knee Replacement Surgery in Brisbane
Knee replacement surgery in Brisbane
Patients considering knee replacement surgery at St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside in Brisbane, will benefit from world-leading operating facilities and internationally renowned orthopaedic surgical care. Performing over 1,000 knee replacement surgeries every year, alongside numerous arthroscopies, repairs and reconstructions, our highly experienced team of specialists are committed to technological innovation, medical research and optimal patient outcomes. Together, we are dedicated to ensuring our patients receive the very best in advanced medical care.
Total knee replacement
Total knee replacement, sometimes referred to as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that replaces the damaged or arthritic knee joint with artificial implants. The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the human body and is responsible for performing many everyday activities such as walking, kneeling or climbing stairs. It works just like a hinge joint, however it also is capable of more complicated rotations that enable it to bear significant weight. When that function is disrupted by injury or disease such as osteoarthritis, the pain and discomfort can greatly impact your quality of life. Today, total knee replacement surgery is so successful it is considered a common orthopaedic procedure, and although it is usually recommended to older patients, it is available to all ages. With numerous surgeons operating out of St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside in Brisbane, booking an appointment with a specialist consult has never been easier.
Why you might need knee replacement surgery
Patients that are suffering from severe and ongoing knee pain are often good candidates for knee replacement surgery. It is usually recommended when other conservative treatment methods have failed. If a patient waits too long for surgery, the lack of exercise and weight gain can exacerbate the issue – causing further pain and discomfort. As we age, the protective cartilage around the knee joint naturally wears away and this can lead to osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease which quickens the cartilage thinning process. This condition is associated with swelling, pain and stiffness that can considerably impact simple movements. Total knee replacement surgery is highly effective in reducing recurrent knee pain, as well as significantly improving quality of life. It is now considered a standard procedure across Australia.
The surgical procedure
Benefitting from nine state-of-the-art operating theatres, St Vincent’s Northside is well equipped to deal with every kind of knee replacement surgery. During the procedure, the damaged end of the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia) are replaced with specialised implants that mimic the natural action of the knee joint. If necessary, the kneecap (patella) is also replaced. Once everything is in position, the new knee joint is tested through a range of motion to ensure it is operating correctly. The operation itself can take up to 3 hours with a further few days spent recovering in hospital. You will be asked to stand and walk within 24 hours of surgery as early movement is known to help aid the recovery process. This is the start of your rehabilitation journey, supported by our local Brisbane team of multi-disciplinary care professionals. A full recovery can take up to one year.
Other types of knee replacement surgery
The knee is a complicated joint that is well supported by an intricate network of muscle, cartilage and ligaments. If damage occurs to any of these structures, it can cause ongoing knee pain. As well as total knee replacement surgery, there are several other procedures that can effectively treat knee pain, and your Northside specialist will determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
The knee has three main compartments: the inside (medial), the outside (lateral) and the compartment behind the kneecap (compartmental). If only one part of your knee joint is affected, it’s possible to have a partial knee replacement rather than a total knee replacement. The benefit of this less common operation is that it leaves the supportive ligaments and cartilage intact – and this is thought to help the knee retain a more natural function with a better range of motion. It is often referred to as a uni-compartmental knee replacement and can be performed as a minimally invasive procedure, with the benefit of a shorter recovery period. Patients are typically younger with the option to convert to a total knee replacement at a later stage.
Revision surgery is required when some or all of your knee implants need replacing either through wear and tear, infection or loosening – where the implant is coming away from the bone. Revision knee replacement surgery replaces any artificial parts that are no longer working, as well as continuing to provide effective pain relief. If you are experiencing some familiar knee symptoms such as swelling, aching or stiffness, it could mean that your original knee replacement is in need of attention. Revision surgery is usually more complicated than the original surgery and takes considerable planning.
If you are suffering from degenerative arthritis in both knees, your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery on both sides, also referred to as a bilateral knee replacement. This can be performed in Brisbane either simultaneously, or as a staged operation. Patient suitability will be determined by your treating doctor taking into consideration age, weight and general health – as well as your tolerance for undergoing major surgery. Whilst there is convenience to having just the one operation with one anaesthetic and recovery period, it is considered a major procedure and for that reason is not clinically appropriate for all patients. Additionally, rehabilitation and recovery can be challenging for a patient when both knee joints are replaced at the same time.
What else should I consider?
Going into hospital can be a stressful experience and we understand that each patient has a different expectation. Here in Brisbane, we are committed to delivering the highest levels of care, as we support you at every stage of your experience. Home to world-leading facilities and one of the best operating theatres in Queensland, you can be assured you are in the most capable hands.
Find out more by booking a specialist consultation today.
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