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Knee replacement surgery can be a great option to improve your mobility and  pain; however, post-surgery problems can occur. This can leave you wondering, “what is the most commonly reported problem after knee replacement surgery?”Although everyone will recover from knee replacement surgery differently, there are a few commonly reported problems. In this article, we’ll cover these post-surgery issues in more detail. However, keep in mind that most knee replacement surgeries have high success rates, so don’t let this information scare you! Talk to a medical professional if you have any concerns or questions about your specific situation.

Knee Stiffness

What is the Most Commonly Reported Problem After Knee Replacement Surgery?Knee stiffness is one of the most commonly reported problems after knee replacement surgery. Knee stiffness can cause difficulty completing activities that require bending, like going up stairs, driving, or sitting in a chair. One of the treatments for knee stiffness is physical therapy. However, there can be more invasive corrective measures, like surgical intervention or revision surgery. Factors that can influence your chance of having knee stiffness include having stiffness before surgery, diabetes, and foregoing physical therapy.

Knee Clicking

When you get a knee replacement, there is an artificial joint placed in your knee, which can be made of metal or plastic. As a result, it’s not uncommon to hear a clicking or clunking sound when bending your knee. Knee clicking does not usually result in physical pain, but it can make a noticeable noise. Causes of clicking or clunking can include inflammation around the connective tissue, the implant design, or implant breakage. If you have pain associated with clicking, contact your surgeon.

Implant Deterioration

What is the Most Commonly Reported Problem After Knee Replacement Surgery?Most knee replacements last more than 15 years; however, implant deterioration can occur sooner. If you are highly active, participate in high impact activities, or gain a significant amount of weight, your knee replacement can deteriorate quickly. If you think your artificial knee is deteriorating, it’s best to contact a surgeon.

Infection and Blood Clots

Infection and blood clots are serious, but less common in a knee replacement. Infections occur in less than 2% of individuals. Early infections occur within six weeks of surgery and are the result of bacteria entering the joint at the time of surgery. Late infections occur six weeks after surgery and can be attributed to bacteria in the bloodstream.

Blood clots occur in the large veins after a knee replacement, leading to pain and swelling. Blood clots can be prevented by taking blood thinners and physical therapy. Nevertheless, infections and blood clots are rare.

Getting Started

Overall, knee stiffness is one of the most common problems reported after knee replacement surgery. However, other issues, like clicking, deterioration, and infection, can occur. To minimize your likelihood of experiencing these problems, it’s best to work with a qualified orthopedic surgeon.

Our team at Great Lakes Orthopaedics has been serving the community for over 60 years, with multiple board-certified orthopedic surgeons on staff. Contact us today to learn more about your knee replacement.

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