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Unicompartmental Knee Replacement
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) is surgery to remove part of the knee joint damaged by wear, injury, or disease. The knee is made up of 3 compartments (sections). The middle and side sections are where the femur (thigh bone) meets the tibia (large lower bone or shin bone). The third section is where the patella (kneecap) meets the femur. During UKR, only the damaged section is removed and replaced with a knee implant.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- You may be allergic to the anesthesia and have trouble breathing. You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Nerves, muscles, or tendons may be damaged during surgery. After surgery, your knee may be stiff or numb. Your legs may not be the same length.
- You may get a blood clot in your leg. This can cause pain and swelling, and it can stop blood from flowing where it needs to go in your body. The blood clot can break loose and travel to your lungs or brain. A blood clot in your lungs can cause chest pain and trouble breathing. A blood clot in your brain can cause a stroke. These problems can be life-threatening.
- Your implant may get loose or move out of place. The implant may get worn out over time and need to be replaced. If you do not have this surgery, your knee pain may get worse. You may have trouble walking, moving, or doing your usual activities.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
Before your surgery:
- Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
- An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- Regional anesthesia: Medicine is injected to numb the body area where the surgery or procedure will be done. You will remain awake during the surgery or procedure.
- General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
During your surgery:
You knee will be cleaned. Your caregiver will make an incision over your knee joint. The damaged section of your knee will be removed. Your caregiver will place the knee implant in your knee joint. He will secure it with screws or medical cement. A drain may be placed to remove extra blood and fluids from the surgery area. Your incision will be closed with stitches or staples and covered with a bandage.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room where you can rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely. Do not try to get out of bed. When caregivers see that you are okay, you will be taken to your hospital room. The bandage covering your incision helps keep it clean and dry to prevent infection. A caregiver may remove the bandage soon after surgery to check your wound.
- Take deep breaths and cough 10 times each hour. This will decrease your risk for a lung infection. Take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can. Let the air out and then cough strongly. Deep breaths help open your airway. You may be given an incentive spirometer to help you take deep breaths. Put the plastic piece in your mouth and take a slow, deep breath, then let the air out and cough. Repeat these steps 10 times every hour.
- Pressure stockings: These are long, tight stockings that put pressure on your legs to promote blood flow and prevent clots.
- Pneumatic boots: Inflatable boots are put on your legs. The boots are connected to an air pump. The pump tightens and loosens different areas of the boots.
- CPM machine: This machine slowly bends and straightens your knee as you lie in bed. You may need to use it several hours each day to prevent stiffness and decrease pain.
- Exercise: Move your legs, ankles, and feet as directed while you are in bed. You may be asked to stand the same day of your surgery. You may start to walk the day after your surgery.
- Support devices: You may need to wear a knee brace during exercises. It may be worn for 30 to 40 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day. You may need to use a cane, walker, or crutches. These devices will help decrease your risk of falling. Use your device as directed.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.
- Pain medicine: Caregivers will give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.
- Patient controlled analgesia: You may get pain medicine through an IV or an epidural line attached to a patient controlled analgesia (PCA) pump. Caregivers set the pump to let you give yourself small amounts of pain medicine when you push a button. Your pump may also give you a constant amount of medicine, in addition to the medicine that you give yourself. Let caregivers know if your pain is still bad even with the pain medicine.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and to help prevent vomiting.
- Muscle relaxers help decrease pain and muscle spasms.
- Blood thinners help prevent blood clots. Blood thinners may be given before, during, and after a surgery or procedure. Blood thinners make it more likely for you to bleed or bruise.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.