How to prevent problems after TKR?

Prevention of Blood Clots in the Leg

The risk is high in the first several weeks after surgery as mobility is reduced. If these clots break off they may migrate to the lungs and cause a highly fatal condition called pulmonary embolism. Compression stockings and blood thinners will be advised at discharge for several weeks. 

Warning signs of blood clots in the leg include: 

  • Increasing pain in the calf.
  • Tenderness or redness above or below the knee.
  • New or increasing swelling in the calf, ankle or foot.

Warning signs of pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sudden onset, shortness of breath.
  • Sudden onset chest pain.
  • Localized chest pain with cough.
  • Sputum which is blood tinged.

Preventing Infection

Infection of the implant can occur from bacteria in the blood stream. The bacteria may come from dental procedures, urinary tract infections or skin infections. After TKR patients may need to take a course of antibiotics for dental work or other surgeries however small. 

Warning signs of infection

  • Persistent fever (higher than 1000F
  • Chills and rigors
  • Increasing redness, tenderness or swelling of the knee wound
  • Drainage from operation site
  • Pain both at rest and on movement

Avoiding Falls 

Falls can damage the knee and a redo surgery may be needed. Stairs are to be avoided until the strength in the knee returns with improved flexibility and balance

 

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