Knee

No Gap Knee Replacement Surgery

Everyday actions like walking or climbing stairs are difficult or painful when the knee is affected by arthritis. A total knee replacement can help.

Knee joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to ease pain and get you back to your daily routine.

No Gap Billing

Dr Rimmer offers no gap orthopaedic surgery to all his patients with private health insurance. This ensures great value and savings to patients who pay a substantial amount to insure themselves and their families.

If you have severe arthritis of the knee causing pain and limitation of your activities and lifestyle and it has not responded to conservative treatments, you may be a candidate for knee replacement.

What is a total knee replacement?

A Total Knee Replacement (TKR) procedure replaces total or part of the knee joint with an artificial device (prosthesis) to alleviate pain and restore joint movement. The diseased bone with its worn cartilage is removed and replaced by an artificial prosthesis made of hard-wearing materials such as ceramics and metals.

What is an artificial knee joint made of?

There are several parts to an artificial knee prosthesis.

An upper metal femoral component that is shaped and sized to fit the contour of the end of the femur bone. A metal tibial component which is flat and has a small stem attached to the undersurface of it. It sits on top of the tibia on the opposing side of the knee joint. Both metals femoral and tibial components are made of metal alloys, comprising of cobalt-chrome or titanium. They are both fixed to the bone with a special polymer called bone cement. There is also a plastic insert (“polyethylene insert”) which locks into the tibial component sitting on its upper surface. The plastic liner is the bearing for which the femoral component moves against. The plastic is made of a special polymer call polyethylene which has been manufactured to last a long time.

How is a typical knee replacement performed?

The operation usually takes from 1 to 2 hours. Dr Rimmer will remove the damaged cartilage and bone and then position the new metal and plastic implants to restore the alignment and function of your knee.

What is a minimally invasive knee replacement?

Minimal invasive knee replacement surgery is a term used to describe several modifications of conventional knee replacement surgeries. These modified procedures are designed to reduce the tissue trauma associated with surgery. The goal is to reduce postoperative discomfort, speed up discharge, and reduce the need for physiotherapy.

  • Traditional knee replacement surgery requires an 8 inch to 12 inch incision down the middle of the knee. Minimally invasive knee surgery requires only a 3 inch to 6 inch skin incision.
  • Traditional knee replacement surgery requires the knee cap to be turned around 180 degrees to give full access to where the femur and tibia meet. In minimally invasive the kneecap can sometimes be carefully pushed aside.
  • During minimally invasive surgery the tibia may not be dislocated from the femur whereas in tradtitional surgery, Dr Rimmer needs to dislocate the tibia (shinbone) from the femur (thighbone) before fitting both bones with prosthetics.
  • To access the knee joint during traditional knee replacement surgery, Dr Rimmer will usually have to cut through the quadriceps muscles at the front of the thigh. During minimally invasive surgery, certain muscles and tendons are lifted or pushed out of the way rather than cut.

Not all patients are suitable for a minimally invasive procedure. At your appointment, Dr Rimmer will discuss the best options in your sitaution.

What happens after knee replacement surgery?

After your knee replacement, you will wake up in the recovery room with a number of monitors to record your vitals – blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation and temperature. You will have a dressing on your knee and drains coming out of your wound.

Once you are stable and awake you will be taken back to the ward. You will have one or two drips in your arm for fluid and pain relief. This will be explained to you by your anaesthetist.

You will spend the first post-operative day in bed and most likely stay in the hospital for several days. On the day following surgery, your drains will usually be removed and you will be allowed to sit out of bed or walk. Pain is normal but if you are in a lot of pain, inform your nurse.

While you are still in hosipital, you will start physiotherapy to help strengthen and improve range-of-motion in your knee joint and your physiotherapist will help you with rehabilitation knee exercises. The sooner you are able to stand up and walk after surgery, the faster your recovery will be.

You will be discharged to go home or a rehabilitation hospital approximately 2-3 days after your operation depending on your progress and what help you have avaialble at home.

Once the wound has healed, you can apply Vitamin E or moisturising cream into the wound.

A post-operative visit will be arranged prior to your discharge. You will be advised about how to walk with crutches for two weeks following surgery and then using walking aids for another four to six weeks.

If you have increasing redness or swelling in the wound or temperatures over 39° please get in contact with our rooms.

What do I need to know after a knee replacement?

Remember this is an artificial knee and should be treated with care. The good news is that unlike new hip replacements, new knee replacements rarely dislocate.

Other important things to know:

  • If you are having any procedures such as dental work or any other surgery you should take antibiotics before and after to prevent infection in your new prosthesis.
  • Your knee replacement may go off in a metal detector at the airport
If you or someone you know is considering a no gap knee replacement, book an appointment with Dr Rimmer to have your situation properly assessed and managed.