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Knee Replacement Information Leaflet

Knee replacement involves the worn, damaged or diseased joint surfaces being replaced by metal and plastic components and it is a very successful operation, with over 70,000 replacement knee procedures performed in the UK every year.

Knee replacement is a complex operation and you have to do a lot to help yourself in terms of preparing for the operation, coping with the few days after it and working steadily at your rehabilitation with the physiotherapist. Knee replacement recovery is much more demanding than hip replacement in terms of your time and effort.

Most of you (around 67%) will have an NHS knee replacement in one of the larger hospital orthopaedic units which usually have comprehensive knee replacement patient information for you to digest. You will likely have been given the information at your pre-operative check or at the time you were listed for the operation.

Good knee replacement patient information is very important when preparing for knee replacement as you need to cooperate to your best ability with the physiotherapist who will be directing your rehabilitation. You will need to start exercising your knee the day after operation, learn to walk normally again and continue the exercises to strengthen and bend you knee for several months.

After discharge you will be monitored by the physio so that your knee continues to improve and by three months after operation the result should be good, although knee replacement recovery time can extend to improving for a year or longer.

NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries has information about knee replacement and at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

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