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Knee Preventing Complications

Knee Preventing Complications


For the most part, knee replacement surgery is extremely safe and effective — in fact, the surgeons at Core Orthopedics and Sports Medicine have performed most knee replacement surgeries without complications. However, it’s important to remember that we are talking about a major surgery, and complications can occur in a small percentage of patients. Getting educated is the first step in proper preparation to prevent complications — check out the below list of potential issues you may face and the steps you can take to minimize their occurrence:


  • Thrombophlebitis

    • Occurs when large veins of the leg form blood clots
      • In some instances, these clots become lodged in the capillaries of the lung and cause pulmonary embolism
    • Also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    • Preventative measures include blood-thinning medication (anticoagulants), elastic stockings, and foot/ankle exercises that increase blood flow in the leg
    • Compression stockings


  • Infection

    • Even when great care is taken to prevent infections before, during, and after surgery, they sometimes still occur in a small percentage of patients
    • Symptoms include pain or stiffness, swelling, warmth and redness around the wound, foul odor, increased drainage, fever, and fatigue
      • Make sure to report any of these immediately to your doctor
    • To prevent infection, take antibiotics as directed, complete the recommended dosage duration, and strictly follow the incision care guidelines your surgeon recommends


  • Pneumonia

    • Can be caused during surgery as a result of the anesthesia which makes your lungs “lazy” and lead to secretion build up at the base of your lungs
    • Preventative measures include practicing deep breathing exercises and using an incentive spirometer for visual feedback while you breathe


  • Knee stiffness

    • After surgery, your knee mobility might be restricted to the point where you develop a contracture in the joint
    • Symptoms of a contracture include significant stiffness during walking or other daily activities you may perform
    • To prevent knee stiffness and maximize your range of motion you should:
      • Begin your physical therapy program early (day one or two) to start working on your range of motion exercises
    • Use ice, compression stockings, and elevation to control edema and reduce swelling
    • Control pain adequately so you can tolerate rehabilitation regime


IMPORTANT: This information is not intended to replace medical advice. Make sure you discuss proper preventative care plans with your physician. As always, if you develop swelling, redness, pain, and/or tenderness in the calf muscle after surgery, report these symptoms to your orthopedic surgeon or internist immediately.

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Surgical Affiliations

Geneva Surgical Suites LLC
Geneva Surgical Suites

119 Elizabeth lane 53218 Genoa City, Wisconsin

Phone : 262-295-1213

Alexian Brothers Medical Center

800 Biesterfield Rd. Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007

Phone : 847-437-5500

St. Alexius Medical Center

1555 Barrington Road Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60169

Phone : 847-843-2000

Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital

450 West Highway 22, Barrington, IL 60010

Phone : 847-381-0123


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