As with any surgery, there are risks of complications. Potential complications include:
Surgery and a lack of activity put you at risk for blood clots in the veins in your legs. Measures are taken to reduce the risk of blood clots. These include early activity and therapy, ankle pump exercises, elastic stockings, calf pumps, and a blood thinner medication. Even with preventive measures, it is still possible for blood clots to form. Tell the staff if you have swelling, redness, pain, warmth, or tenderness in your calf or lower leg.
Pneumonia is also a risk after surgery. You will be taught deep breathing and coughing exercises to help keep your lungs clear and prevent pneumonia. Being active after your surgery will also help prevent pneumonia. Smoking increases the risk of pneumonia. If you are a current smoker, you should consider smoking cessation.
Infection is a risk with any surgery. Every precaution is taken to reduce the risk of infection. You will be given an IV (intravenous) antibiotic before and after surgery. All total joint replacements are done using special equipment that keeps the surgical area sterile during the procedure. You will also be given instructions for preventing infections. Being overweight, a smoker, or having diabetes can increase your risk of getting an infection. Ask your doctor or nurse for help in managing these risk factors.
Nerves around the surgical area may be damaged during surgery. Generally, the symptoms of nerve damage will improve or resolve over time.
Over time, your implant knee may loosen from the surrounding bone. Surgery may be performed to replace the implant.
A small amount of wear is common with all joint replacements. If this wear is severe, surgery may be needed to replace the implant.
While very rare, the metal or plastic components of the knee implant may break. A knee revision surgery would be needed to resolve this.
Loss of Limb
Loss of limb is a rare possibility.
As with any surgery, death is a potential but rare outcome.