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Joint Replacement Surgery

FAQs and Information

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Technology to Improve Total Joint Outcomes

Hip, total and partial knee replacement surgery is carried out with the aid of Computer Navigation. This aids in the accurate positioning of the components.

How Long Will My Replaced Joint Last?

The data is form the Australian Joint Registry for the prosthesis that are used in this practice.  The chances of your Joint Replacement still functioning and not needing to be changed, at 10 years, is listed below:

Shoulder: 94%

Total Hip: 97%

Total Knee: 96%

Partial Knee: 92%

Total Joint Replacement in Overweight Patients

If you are overweight then all aspects of the surgery and recovery become more difficult.  The complication rate is higher and the chance of needing a revision operation is higher.  If your BMI is above 40 you should discuss weight reduction options with your GP. For uninsured patients with a BMI over 50 then your surgery can only be performed at Major Perth Public Hospital  as there are rules limiting access to surgery.

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Why have Partial (Uni) Knee?

Many patients with partial knees ''forget'' they had the operation whereas this is uncommon for total knees.  The NZ Joint Registry collects satisfaction data that supports this observation (data not yet available for Australian Joint Registry) The chances of complications prolonging your are hospital stay are much lower with a partial knee replacement.

Movement after Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Non reverse or anatomical Total Shoulder Replacement (TSR)  needs protection in a sling to allow tendons to heal.  Reverse TSR allows early and non restricted motion after the initial discomfort has settle.  We recommend the use of RE3 Ice Compression System to help control pain after exercises and to move the shoulder as much as possible 2 weeks after surgery.  

Antibiotics and Dental Treatment after Joint Replacement Surgery

As a general rule you do not need extra antibiotics for dental work.  Try to avoid routine dental work in the 3 months after joint surgery.  

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Cold and Compression to Aid in Recovery

Cold and Compression helps by reducing pain.  We recommend the RE3 system. Please enquire when you book in for your surgery.

Wound Care &
PICCO Suction Dressing

We use a shower proof dressing.  It is a fine mesh filled with 'glue'.  Leave this in place for 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery.  Trim the edges if they start to peel from the skin.  You will be have a wound check in person or by telehealth at 10 days after the surgery.  All stitches are internal and dissolve.

PICCO (negative pressure) dressing is used in cases to reduce risk of would leakage.  Leave this in place until and the practice will contact you with instructions for removal.  Do not worry if the battery runs out and do not replace the battery.

Clicking Sound Following Total Knee Replacement

About 25% of patients will notice a clicking sound after surgery.  It is normal and due to the new bearing surfaces being harder.  This improves with time and very few patients notice this after a year.

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Skin Numbness & Kneeling

Any incision will damage skin and nerves.  This will result in a numb area around the front of the knee.  This becomes much less noticeable after 12 months. Kneeling on the knee wound is fine after 2 months.  The discomfort will decrease by 6 months form the operation.

Why is my leg / knee swollen?

Swelling is a normal part of the healing process.  Controlling swelling within the knee by use of cooling (RE3 System) helps recovery.  Controlling swelling in the calf can be aided by compression stockings and socks.   Swelling is much less at 6 months and for nearly all patients back to normal at 12 months.

When Can I Drive Again?

For leg sugery this is about 6 weeks for manual car and 3 weeks for automatic car.  For shoulder surgery this is about 6 weeks after surgery.

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Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy

Physio and hydro therapy help with recovery.  Both can commence prior to the operation and continue for about 3 months after.  Hydro after the surgery should be delayed for 3 weeks as its important to get the wound fully water tight before entering the pool.

How Many Nights do I Stay in Hospital?

Shoulder 1-3,   Hip 1- 3, Partial Knee 1 - 3,  Total Knee 2 - 4

Will I Set Off Airport Security Metal Detectors?

Yes, most implants will set off detetors.  There is no need to carry an implant card.  Advise security you have an implant and an extra wand may be used to confirm the location of your surgery.

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