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Orthopaedic Surgery – Knee Replacement

Orthopaedic surgery is the surgical speciality that focuses on the management of joints and bones.

Orthopaedic Surgeons are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients with bone and joint problems. This includes the management of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand and also the management of the hip and knee, foot and ankle. Orthopaedic surgeons also manage patients who sustain a traumatic injury to their limbs such as a fracture.

Guidance for patients waiting for a knee replacement

Total knee replacement surgery has become a successful and widely used method of treatment, for example when the knee joint has been damaged as a result of disease (for example arthritis) or other injury. Its aim is to alleviate pain and restore more normal function to the knee. Although as with any surgical procedure there are risks involved, the results are generally good.

Total knee replacement involves replacing and relining the surfaces of the bones that make up the knee joint.

The actual type of prosthesis (replacement knee) you will need for total knee replacement will depend on the condition of your knee. During the surgery, the worn parts of the knee joint are removed and replaced with new metal and plastic parts.

Intended benefits

The operation is designed to alleviate the pain in your knee and restore it to a more normal function.

Pre-operative exercises

The following exercises are suitable for people to practise before the operation

You should practise all these exercises with both your legs.

Aim to repeat each exercise 10 times. When this becomes easy increase the repetitions gradually until you can comfortably manage 50 repetitions of each.

Exercises before surgery

  1. Lying on your back or sitting
    Bend and straighten your ankles briskly. Keep your knees straight during the exercise, so that you stretch your calf muscles.
    Repeat 10 times every hour
  2. Sitting or lying
    Rotate your ankle. Change directions.
    Repeat 10 times every hour
  3. Lying on your back with leg straight.
    Bend your ankles up towards you and push your knees down firmly against the bed. Hold for five seconds and then relax.
    Repeat 10 times.
  4. Lying on your back with a slippery surface under your leg
    Bend and straighten your hip and knee by sliding your foot up and down the slippery surface.
    Repeat 10 times.
  5. Lying on your back
    Exercise your operated leg by pulling the toes up, straightening the knee and lifting the leg, 20cms off the bed. Hold for approximately five seconds, and then slowly relax.
    Repeat 10 times
  6. Lying on your back put a rolled towel under the operated knee.
    Pull your foot and toes up, tighten your thigh muscle and straighten the knee (keep knee on the roll). Hold for approximately five seconds and slowly relax.
    Repeat 10 times
  7. Sitting.
    Bend and straighten your knee.
    Repeat 10 times
  8. Sit on a chair
    Pull your toes up, tighten your thigh muscles, and straighten your knee. Hold for approximately five seconds and slowly relax your leg.
    Repeat 10 times.

What should I do if my health is deteriorating?

If your knee pain deteriorates to the degree that you are struggling to perform normal activities of daily living such as washing, going to the shops and putting on your own shoes and socks on and caring for your family, then raise this with a health professional. If you have not yet been seen at Addenbrookes please contact your general practitioner (GP) who may try and expedite your referral. Alternatively, if you have already been seen by our service at Addenbrookes, the please contact the clinical team who are looking after you using the contact numbers on your clinic letter.

Contact us

If waiting for first appointment and have concerns regarding health and deterioration please contact your GP.

If you are an existing patient for our service with concerns please contact: