Click the questions to expand and see the answers.

  • Can I kneel after kneel replacement surgery?
    • Yes you can kneel, however most people find this uncomfortable. There is no mechanical reason why you shouldn’t kneel.
  • When can I remove my dressing?
    • Generally, a wound from knee replacement surgery requires very little care. All sutures are dissolvable and do not require removal. Before leaving the hospital, your dressing will be changed. It does not need to be routinely changed after this but should be checked and changed if the wound is persistently moist and the dressing is becoming soaked. It is important to keep the wound dry.  The dressing can be removed after 14 days from the day of surgery.
  • Do I have to wear compression (TED) stockings?
    • Dr Hutchinson is up-to-date with recent research and does not require routine wearing of compression stockings.  You will need to take blood thinning medications (aspirin) for a month after the surgery to reduce the risk of clots (DVT).
  • How do you minimise the risk of blood clots (DVT) – and what are these things on my feet?
    • Dr Hutchinson prescribes low dose aspirin (100mg daily) and foot pumps for prevention of DVT. Aspirin is cheap, taken orally (as opposed to a daily injection) and has been shown to reduce the risk of DVT in the setting of hip and knee surgery. Foot pumps wrap around the feet and have a bladder under the sole of the foot which rapidly inflates every 30 seconds. As well as effectively preventing DVT (see here and here), foot pumps serve an important second purpose: they act to rapidly decrease swelling (and hence pain) following knee replacement and improve knee movement in the early post operative period
  • How soon can I drive after knee replacement?
    • It is recommended that you should generally not drive for four weeks following a knee replacement.  Breaking reaction time has generally returned to normal four weeks following a knee replacement. In order to be safe driving a car after a knee replacement, you must be able to control the pedals properly and you must not be taking strong pain medications that could impair your judgement or reaction time. As you get to the four week mark, ask yourself if you would be able to stop quickly if a pedestrian ran in front of your vehicle. If you feel you could not react quickly enough, wait a little longer.
  • When can I resume to my normal leisure activities?
    • During the first six weeks after your surgery, we recommend limiting your activities to walking with support, gentle swimming in the shallow end of the pool (once you have been given permission to get the wound wet). We recommend you refrain from more rigorous activity (such as social tennis) until 6 weeks after the date of your surgery. If you are enthusiastic about a particular sport, please seek feel free to ask.
  • How soon can I have sex after knee replacement?
    • You can have intercourse whenever you feel ready, although you are advised to be the “passive” partner during the first six weeks.
  • How soon can I fly after knee replacement?
    • It is usually safe to take a short flight a week after surgery as long as you do not have blood clots in your legs. Long flights are best avoided during the first few months after surgery, as there is a risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs). If you must travel, we recommend you take aspirin, mobilise throughout the flight as much as possible and if possible keep your legs elevated when seated during the flight.
  • Will I set off alarms at the airport?
    • Yes, you may set off the alarms, however you can alert the security staff that you have a metal implant, and let them know where it is in your body. You will likely be screened with a metal detecting wand, but security sees many patients with these types of implants, and you shouldn’t be delayed.
  • Should I tell my dentist that I’ve had a knee replacement?
    • After a knee replacement, (even years after your surgery) pay particular attention to infections anywhere on the body, and deal with them immediately. Pay special attention to tooth decay and mouth infections, as these may be a cause of infection in joint replacement.  If you need to visit your dentist, tell them you have had a joint replacement.
  • When do I see Dr Hutchinson for follow up appointments?
    • Your first post-op appointments will be at 2 weeks to check the wound and then at 6 weeks after your knee replacement. Please bring ALL your x-rays, including a fresh X-Ray taken as close to that appointment as possible. Depending on how you are doing you will see Dr Hutchinson at least once more, usually around 6 months later. You do not need a new referral if you are coming for your post-operative check-ups. These appointments do not incur a fee.
  • What are the Risks of Knee Replacement?
    • Knee replacement surgery is commonly performed and generally safe. However, in order to make an informed decision and give your consent, you need to be aware of the possible side effects and the risk or complications of this procedure. Complications are when problems occur during or after the operation. Most people are not affected. The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (DVT).
      Specific complications of knee replacement are uncommon, but can include those listed below.
    • – Infection of the wound or joint – antibiotics are given during and after surgery to help prevent this.
      – Unstable joint – your knee joint may become ‘loose’ and you may require further surgery to correct this.
      – Damage to nerves or blood vessels – this is usually mild and temporary. You may experience a patch of numbness adjacent to the scar at the front of the knee.
      – Scar tissue – this can build up and restrict your movement and further surgery may be needed to correct this.The exact risks will differ for every person, so we haven’t included specific details here. Please ask how these risks apply to you.