When you choose to have knee replacement surgery at Circle Reading Hospital, you can relax knowing that you are in the safest of hands.
Our dedicated knee surgery unit provides the very best clinical care for our patients. We combine the expertise and experience of leading orthopaedic consultants with the very latest diagnostic technology.
Preparing for knee replacement surgery
As with any surgery, knowing what to expect and undergoing the right preparations is crucial for helping to keep you calm and comfortable in the days leading up to your surgery, and for your recovery period afterwards.
Your surgeon will talk to you about the best ways to prepare for your surgery, but this will typically involve:
- Making arrangements for someone to help with pet/childcare, if required
- Preparing your home for your return. This may mean setting up a sleeping area downstairs so that you don’t need to go up and down stairs until you are ready, filling your freezer with meals and arranging for someone to come in and clean for you
- Staying as active as you can. This will help keep the muscles around your knee strong, which is vital for your recovery following surgery
- Stopping any medications advised to you by your orthopaedic surgeon
You won’t be able to drive for a number of weeks after your knee replacement procedure, so it’s important that you factor this into your preparations and make alternative arrangements for any trips that you may need to make, including your post-operative check-up.
Your pre-operative appointment
You will also need to attend a pre-operative appointment around a week before your surgery. This is to ensure that you are physically and mentally ready for your surgery.
You’ll undergo a full health check, and a member of your care team will speak to you about what to expect at each stage of the surgery and recovery. They will also be able to answer any questions that you have.
You will be in hospital for between three and five days, so it’s important to take everything that you might need with you on the day of your surgery. This should include changes of nightwear and clothes, toiletries and other personal hygiene items, your phone, charger and headphones and anything you want to keep you entertained during your stay.
You will not need to bring any pain relief, but you should bring any other medications that you usually take.
The day of your knee replacement surgery
Knee replacement surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic, meaning that you will be asleep before you enter the operating theatre and will wake up in recovery.
However, in some cases, it may be possible or advisable for a patient to have their knee replacement surgery under a spinal block combined with sedation to keep them calm and comfortable. Anaesthetic options can be discussed with your orthopaedic surgeon during your consultation.
Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, the anaesthesiologist will continually monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and blood oxygen levels during the surgery. The skin over the surgical site will then be cleaned, and the surgery will begin.
This will involve a vertical incision into the skin of the knee to expose the joint. The relevant parts of the knee joint will be removed and then replaced with the artificial knee prosthesis, which is secured in place with surgical cement.
After the knee has been replaced, the incision will be closed with either sutures or surgical staples. In some instances, a drain will be inserted to remove any fluids which may accumulate, and a sterile dressing will be applied.