Complications & risks
Knee arthroplasty is a major surgery, and many people may consider it risky, yet the incidence of complications is low. The orthopedic surgeon should discuss the procedure in detail before surgery and inform the patient about the possible complications. The complications of knee arthroplasty are mostly preventable and manageable, they include:
- Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition in which the blood clots in a deep vein particularly in the lower limb. DVT usually occurs due to recumbency and reduced blood flow in the veins. Some studies showed that the incidence of DVT after joint arthroplasty is up to 17%. DVT could be life-threatening and cause ischemic sequelae.
- Infection is a serious complication that directly affects the result of the surgery. patients can catch infection during or after surgery, so doctors always ask their patients to take care of their wound and avoid exposing it to moisture. Prophylactic broad-spectrum antibiotics could be prescribed for susceptible patients.
- Nerve injury isn’t a common complication of knee arthroplasty. however incompetent surgeons are more likely to cause nerve damage.
- Bleeding is less likely to occur unless the patient is coagulopathic. Coagulopathic patients are whose blood forms more or fewer clots than normal. Bleeding could also occur during surgery due to vascular injury. Fortunately, bleeding is controllable in most cases.
- Intra-operative bone fracture is reported in patients who previously had osteoporosis (weakened bones). Bone fractures are more common in women and old patients.