Knee replacement surgery, also called knee arthroplasty, is one of the most commonly performed and successful orthopedic surgeries today. Typically, knee replacement surgery is done to relieve knee pain and restore the function of the knee joint that has developed arthritis or gradual wear and tear.
After having this surgery and rehabilitation, more than 90% of patients rate the surgery outcome as good or excellent – they feel considerably less knee pain and much greater mobility. However, the outcome of knee arthroplasty isn’t excellent for everyone. This means some patients may still feel pain after the surgery, so post-surgery treatment is necessary.
Let’s talk about the five common reasons for pain after knee replacement surgery, and where you can go in Boynton Beach and Palm Beach County to seek post-surgery help after a knee replacement surgery.
#1: Infection Due to the Surgery
Infection is a serious complication that may come with any surgical procedure. A sudden increase in knee pain, redness around the incision area, or fever means there could be an infection.
In a joint replacement surgery, the prosthetic implant can serve as a surface for bacteria to latch onto and cause infection. Even though antibiotics are usually prescribed after the procedure to prevent infection, antibiotics aren’t always sufficient to address the infection.
#2: Loosening of the Knee Prosthesis Implant
In order for the knee implant to function properly, it’s important for the orthopedic surgeon to properly affix it to the bone. Usually, the implant is cemented onto the bone, but some surgeons prefer to use biologic (non-cemented) implant fixation.
Although the implant is attached firmly to the bone during the knee surgery, it may loosen over time due to several factors – including performing high-impact activities, obesity, wear-and-tear of the prosthetic spacer between two metal components, etc. The loosened knee implant may result in pain, instability, and change in alignment.
#3: Patellofemoral (Kneecap) Problems
Pain after knee replacement surgery is often caused by kneecap problems. This can occur when excessive force has applied to the kneecap even during normal activities, such as walking down stairs or getting up from a chair.
Your orthopedic surgeon can identify the kneecap problem and addresses it using different modalities.
#4: Instability of the New Knee
Damage to one or more knee ligaments during the surgery, or imbalance of the ligaments around the knee, may cause the new knee to become unstable when standing or walking. Ligaments are the strong bands of tissue that hold a bone together with another bone in a joint, so they can move together and enable movement of your body.
You may experience knee instability after knee arthroplasty because most knee implants are designed to work with your existing natural ligaments, so if there is a change to one or more of the ligaments, the implant will not work properly. This results in knee pain and a sense of the knee “giving out,” which impairs knee function and often requires revision surgery.
#5: Fracture in Adjacent Bone Near the New Knee
In some people, the cause of knee pain after having knee replacement surgery is a periprosthetic fracture. A periprosthetic fracture is a break in the bone around the knee implant that disrupts the fixation of the implant in the bone and the stability of the implant. Such fractures may require revision surgery depending on the type and extent of the fracture.
Knee Replacement Surgery in Boynton Beach
If you have worsening knee pain, knee arthritis, or an old knee prosthesis that is now causing pain, have one of our trusted orthopedic knee surgeons at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches give you an evaluation and explain your options.
Our team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons utilizes the most advanced surgical methods to offer you excellent outcomes from your knee surgery. Our orthopedic surgeons also offer revision surgery to address any problems that resulted due to previous knee surgery.