What are the benefits of surgery?

Knee conditions limit patients' activities of daily living due to pain and limited mobility. A benefit of knee replacement surgery is that it may be able to help patients resume a normal lifestyle. However, depending on the patient's underlying condition and overlying health, the patient may never be without pain, even after knee replacement surgery.

What are the risks of surgery?

While knee replacement surgery is a safe treatment, there are risks that are possible with any surgery. For total knee replacement, they include:

  • Infection in the artificial joint
  • Neurovascular (i.e., nerve and/or blood vessels) damage
  • Wear and tear of prosthesis (i.e., the knee implant device) due to heavy use
  • Stiffness of the knee if scar tissue develops
  • Complications involving the lungs, heart, gastrointestinal, or neurological system
  • Failure to relieve knee pain
  • Loss of the leg due to blood clots
  • Death

Knee replacement surgery is nearly always a successful procedure, but patients should carefully consider any risks and weigh them carefully before deciding to have surgery.

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