Knee Replacement Surgery in Toowoomba
Knee replacement surgery in Toowoomba
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba has a wide range of highly experienced knee surgeons available that are local to the Darling Downs area. As the largest hospital in the region, it is home to outstanding operating and clinical facilities, as well as a highly skilled team of multidisciplinary staff. The hospital has a longstanding commitment to medical research and recently celebrated a centenary. Performing over 800 knee replacement surgeries every year, this procedure is considered to be one of the most successful in all medicine and is commonly performed across Australia.
Total knee replacement
The most important reason for knee replacement surgery is to relieve severe ongoing knee pain and discomfort that cannot be controlled well enough in other ways. Decreasing function and progressive pain are key factors when considering the surgical options, and surgery is usually recommended before the issues that result from lack of movement further aggravate the knee joint. The most common cause for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, a gradual thinning of the protective cartilage around the knee joint.
Although this is a natural part of aging, osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that quickens the cartilage thinning process and is usually accompanied by swelling, pain and stiffness. Other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis can also cause recurrent knee pain. Total knee replacement surgery at St Vincent’s Toowoomba is highly effective in reducing recurrent knee pain, as well as significantly improving quality of life. It is now considered a standard procedure to correct severe knee pain.
The surgical procedure
With a highly experienced surgical team here on site, St Vincent’s Toowoomba is well placed for a range of knee surgeries. During total knee replacement surgery, the damaged end of the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia) are replaced with specialised implants that mimic the natural action of the knee joint. Sometimes the kneecap (patella) is also replaced. Once everything is in position, the new knee joint is tested through a range of motion to ensure alignment, stability and level of movement. 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 that will continue on at home, supported by our local Toowoomba team of multi-disciplinary care professionals.
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. Any type of damage or injury to this structure can cause recurrent knee pain. There are several other knee surgeries that can treat knee pain, and your specialist here in Toowoomba will determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
If the knee has suffered an injury, it may be possible to have a partial knee replacement, or a uni-compartmental knee replacement, rather than a total knee replacement. There are three main compartments in the knee joint: the inside (medial), the outside (lateral) and the compartment behind the kneecap (compartmental). Any type of arthritis usually affects more than one of these parts, but if only one part of your knee joint is affected, it’s possible to just have a partial 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. This smaller procedure 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.
All knee replacement implants have a finite lifespan and they can fail for many reasons including infection, wear and tear or loosening – where the implant is coming away from the bone. If you are feeling a return of some familiar aches and pains, it could mean that your original knee replacement is in need of attention. Revision knee replacement surgery replaces any artificial parts that are no longer working, as well as providing effective and ongoing pain relief. Depending on the extent of the surgery required, it is usually a longer and more complex procedure and takes some 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 Toowoomba either simultaneously, or as a staged operation, and your suitability will be determined by your treating doctor taking into consideration your 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 a single recovery period, it is considered a major procedure, and for that reason is not clinically appropriate for all patients. Additionally, some patients may find rehabilitation and recovery more challenging when both knee joints are replaced at the same time.
Can Medicare help with my knee surgery in Toowoomba?
The cost of your surgery is dependent on a number of factors that will vary by patient, including your level of private health insurance and the cost of your surgical team, which can differ between each hospital. Find out more about knee surgery in Toowoomba and your Medicare rebate here.
What else should I consider?
Find out more about your knee condition and what knee surgeries are available to you by booking a specialist consultation. Going into hospital can be a stressful experience, but we understand that each patient has a different journey and here in Toowoomba, we are committed to supporting you at every stage.
Find out more by booking a specialist consultation today.
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