St Philip’s Hospital specializes in knee and hip replacement surgery, surgical interventions that are now performed successfully on a routine basis.

Knee Replacement

St Philip’s Hospital specializes in knee and hip replacement, these joint replacements are performed successfully on a routine basis.

Knee replacement is performed when there is severe knee joint degeneration . The most common cause is "wear and tear arthritis", or Osteoarthritis, which can occur even with no previous injury to the knee joint - the knee simply "wears out".

The major problem in Osteoarthritis is that the cartilage on the surface of the bone inside the joint wears away.

Once this protective surface of the cartilage is worn away, the bones begin to rub against each other, causing a lot of pain.

Previous injuries such as fractures of the knee, torn cartilage, and torn ligaments may also cause the knee joint to function abnormally. This abnormal function can lead to excessive wear and tear of the joint several years after the injury. Most degenerative problems eventually require replacement of the painful knee with an artificial knee joint, which is called a prosthesis.

Hip replacement

Hip replacement is performed when a degenerative hip joint is causing a lot of pain, the hip joint is replaced with an artificial hip joint. There are many conditions that may result in the degeneration of the hip joint. The most common cause for hip replacement surgery is that the hip ‘wears out’, in the same way as the knee does.

There may be a genetic tendency in some people that increases their chances of developing this degenerative condition.

Surgical intervention

Knee and hip replacement surgery are becoming increasingly necessary in our ageing populations.

Fortunately major advances in knee and hip replacement have improved the outcome of surgery greatly.

A painful knee or hip may affect your ability to lead an active life and surgery is recommended primarily to relieve pain.

Joint replacement or arthroplasty, is the surgical procedure in which damaged joint surfaces are replaced.

Several procedures may be adopted. The majority of knee or hip replacements work on the basis of a metal titanium component in the thighbone and a high-density polyethylene cup in the pelvic bone. In most cases, hip or knee replacements are secured with special bone cement that attaches the metal to the bone.

How long will a hip or knee replacement last?

In the light of current experience, hip or knee replacements may last as long as fifteen years. However this depends on the level of physical activity undertaken following surgery.

Blood tests and x-rays

Prior to your operation, you will undergo some routine blood tests and possibly X Rays as well as an ECG in preparation for your operation. Blood will be cross matched although where possible we will transfuse your own blood using a cell saver

Before the operation

Before your operation you will be seen by your surgeon, who will explain the procedure to you, before you sign a consent form. You will also be seen by the Anaesthetist who will assess your fitness for anaesthesia. Your nurse will accompany you to the theatre.

On returning to the ward

When the operation is over, your nurse will collect you from the theatre recovery and lead you to your ward. The nurse will regularly record your blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate. A post operative check X-ray will also be performed.

Physiotherapy and post-operation care

Before your operation, you will be visited by the physiotherapist, who will continue to visit on a daily basis throughout your stay. Following a hip or knee replacement the surrounding muscles and issues take some time to heal. Therefore the support offered by these tissues is not as strong as usual and there is potential for your joint replacement to dislocate. The physiotherapist’s role is crucial because s/he will show you the safest ways of moving during this initial period. The physiotherapist will also instruct you in exercises to regain your strength and joint mobility.

Prior to discharge, the physiotherapist will help you practice your mobility, such as going up and down stairs and walking on slopes.

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