Mr Stuart Edwards, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, carries out  250+ joint replacements and a similar amount of keyhole knee surgeries every year in Aut Even. He explains what you can do to take better care of your knees; how your weight can detrimentally affect your knees and what your expected recovery time is after knee replacement surgery.  

THE LEVELS OF KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERIES ARE RISING SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF OUR KNEES?

Genetics means that you can just be predisposed to arthritis. So, it will inevitably catch you. But you can certainly help yourself to delay the inevitable if you keep your weight down. Six to eight times your body weight in force can go across the kneecap joint.  This means that one additional pound in weight equals half a stone of force on the knee. So, weight is really important. The obesity problem in Ireland is impacting on the need for knee surgery here.

ARE THERE SPECIFIC EXERCISES THAT CAN HELP YOUR KNEES?

Exercise, particularly bike exercise work, to build up your quads and your hamstrings to improve the stabilisers of the knee is really important. And try to avoid repetitive stresses on the knee if you’re having problems with your knees. Instead of running, why not cycle or swim?

HOW LONG WOULD YOU EXPECT TO BE OUT OF ACTION AFTER KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?

It depends on how active you are and what other joints are affected, but as a rough ballpark figure, you can expect to be in hospital for about three or four days and on two crutches for three or four weeks. You will then have a single crutch for a further three or four weeks and then by three months you should be walking a mile with ease.

I say to my patients that we are a team. I put the knee in and they have to work on it and bend it and get it right. A lot of it is about having a positive mental attitude. Knee replacements can be sore after having them done so a lot of it is about being positive and rehabilitating that knee. If you do that, you should have a favourable outcome.

For more information on Mr Stuart Edwards please click this link: Mr Stuart Edwards