You may drive an automatic car as early as 2 weeks after a knee replacement surgery, if you had it on your left knee and you can comfortably sit in your car and apply an emergency brake. You may need to inform your insurer. If the surgery was on your right knee or you have a manual car (even if the surgery was on the left knee), you will need to wait until you have regained satisfactory pain relief, knee range of motion and muscle co-ordination. It will take approximately 6 weeks to achieve this.
My advice is to get into the driving seat of your car, without inserting the keys into the ignition, and practice the application of an emergency brake and clutch. If you can comfortably use those, you could drive the car in an open (safe) place before resuming driving. It is important to appreciate that the knee could be stiff and painful after keeping it still for prolonged periods. You should therefore avoid going for long drives during the initial stages.
The activities that can be undertaken include low impact activities such as bowling, ball room dancing, square dancing, golf, swimming, tennis (preferably doubles tennis), croquet, cycling, table-tennis, walking etc. Less favourable activities but possible activities include down-hill skiing, scuba -diving, inline skating, ice-skating, speed-walking, horse riding etc. The activities to be preferably avoided include high impact sport like squash, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, gymnastics, jogging, rock-climbing, parachuting, hand-gliding etc.
One needs to wait until muscle strength and co-ordination are regained following surgery before returning to recreational and athletic activities. This will take approximately 6 weeks to 3 months after knee replacement. The general advice is to avoid high impact and pivoting sports which could potentially reduce the longevity of the prosthesis by causing accelerated wear of the bearing surfaces (polyethylene insert). Such activities also subject the replaced knee to additional injuries that can predispose to early loosening of the components.
The material used in most modern knee prostheses are generally comparable. The clear majority of thigh bone components (femoral components) are made of cobalt-chromium alloy and shin bone components (tibial components) are made of titanium. The joint space (interface between the thigh bone and shin bone components) is maintained an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene polymer component.
Approximately 15-20 years. The longevity is more in people who are less physically active. E.g. older patient’s knees tend to outlive them.
No. In practice patients tend to have one revision surgery in their life time, if they had their knee replacement at less than 50 years’ age.
In general, there is higher risk for complications with revision (re-do) surgery than primary (first time) surgery. The outcomes may be comparable.
No. However, it is preferable to minimise the number of surgeries to minimise risks for complications.