Knee replacement surgery is a major medical procedure that removes a damaged knee joint and replaces it with an artificial one. It is often recommended for people who have severe joint pain and stiffness that has not responded to non-surgical treatments.
If you have been experiencing knee pain, with nothing else that provides permanent relief, consider booking a consultation with Mr Andrew Gong, a knee replacement surgery specialist based in the Melbourne area.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged, injured or worn-out parts of the knee joint with artificial parts. As people age, the joint cartilage gradually wears over time. Unfortunately, there is no current reproducible method to replace this cartilage.
The surgery involves removing the damaged or worn-out knee joint surfaces and replacing them with metal and plastic components. These parts are used to cap the ends of the bones that form the knee joint, along with the knee cap. The femoral component is usually made of a highly polished cobalt-chrome with the tibial component being made of titanium. A highly engineered plastic liner sits between the two components.
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to relieve pain and improve the function of the knee.
Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries
There are several types of knee surgeries available, and the doctor will recommend the surgery that will assist with the patient’s knee condition.
Knee scope is a type of knee surgery that can be used to reduce knee pain.
ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL is a ligament that connects the thighbone to the shinbone, and it helps stabilise the knee joint. This is particularly relevant in sports that require pivoting and changes in direction (like football, netball and soccer).
When the ACL is torn, it can cause the knee to become unstable and cause pain. During ACL reconstruction, a surgeon will replace the torn ligament with a new one, usually taken from another part of your body or a donor. This procedure can help restore stability to the knee and reduce pain.
Total Knee Replacement Surgery (TKR)
Total knee replacement surgery is a procedure in which a surgeon removes damaged sections of the knee joint and replaces them with artificial components. This surgery is typically done to reduce pain and improve the range of motion in the knee.
It is most often done when arthritis has caused the joint to become too damaged to be effectively treated with medications or other non-surgical treatments.
A knee scope is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a doctor uses an instrument called an arthroscope to examine the knee joint. The arthroscope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it.
The procedure can be used to diagnose knee pain, identify the source of the pain, and determine the best course of treatment. They are also an excellent way of addressing these tears and allow trimming and smoothing of the torn cartilage. If the tear is large and is suitable for repair, then this can also be performed.
Other conditions, such as tears or defects in the joint surface or removal of loose bodies, can also be dealt with.
Revision Total Knee Replacement
Revision total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the existing knee joint is replaced with a new, artificial joint.
It is typically performed when the existing artificial joint has worn out, if an infection has occurred, or if there is any knee instability or knee pain being experienced. The goal of this surgery is to reduce pain and restore knee movement.
This is a more complex procedure which may involve long stems on the components and often leads to loss of bone that needs to be reconstructed.
With an osteotomy, the surgeon cuts the shin bone and realigns it so that the patient’s weight is no longer carried by the damaged part of the knee.
How is a Knee Replacement Procedure Performed?
Although each knee surgery has its own unique procedure, a knee replacement procedure is typically performed using general or spinal anaesthesia. The surgeon begins by making an incision in the knee and then moving the kneecap aside. This allows the surgeon to access the knee, removing any damaged tissue and bone. The surgeon can then perform cuts to the bone to allow the knee replacement components to sit at the ends of the bone.
Next, the surgeon will prepare the remaining bone to accept the implant. The implant is then positioned and secured in place with bone cement or the implants have a coating that allows the bone to ingrow. Finally, the incision is closed with sutures or staples. A catheter is placed in the knee that allows the injection of local anaesthetic in the first 24 hours after surgery.
Knee Replacement Surgery Post-Operative Recovery
Knee Replacement Risks to Consider
Although uncommon, as with any operation, even minimally invasive procedure carries risks, that should be considered, which include:
- blood clots
- nerve damage
- adverse reaction to the anesthesia
- risk of dislocation.
- deep vein thrombosis
Knee replacement surgery cost in Melbourne
Knee replacement surgery costs at any of our Melbourne clinics will depend on which knee surgery has been recommended for your individual knee condition.
Once Mr Andrew Gong has conducted a thorough assessment which may include blood tests, X-rays or scans, will be able to provide a detailed quotation.
This will include the pricing of the surgical procedure, the hospital stay and the anesthetist. We will also advise if any rebates apply for Medicare or any other health insurance.
How can Mr Andrew Gong can
help with your knee replacement
Mr Andrew Gong is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon who has successfully completed numerous knee replacement and reconstruction surgeries. He is fellowship trained in several knee procedures. He is experienced in using cutting-edge technology and techniques, including minimally invasive and robotic-assisted knee replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Private insurance will cover the hospital, operating room and prosthesis costs. It will cover a proportion of the surgical and anaesthetic fees but there may be a gap in payment depending on your insurance fund.
The best age to have a knee replacement can depend on several factors, such as the severity of the knee pain and the condition of the knee.
Generally, the best age for a knee replacement is between ages 50 and 80. However, some people may be recommended for a knee replacement at a younger age, depending on the severity of their condition.
The average length of hospital stay for a knee replacement is 3 days but will depend on your individual situation.
A knee replacement is a major operation. The surgery typically involves replacing the damaged joint surfaces with metal and plastic components. It is a complex procedure and can take several hours to complete.