Expected outcome (80-85% of patients)
- Significant improvement of pain
- Substantial improvement in function (walking)
- Minor or no complications
- Walking day after surgery
- Longevity of prosthesis of 15 to 20 years
Four to six months after surgery the patient should expect a significant improvement of pain and therefore a substantial improvement in the walking distance and other activities of daily living. Some patients, however, may take up to 24 months to achieve maximum recovery. As mentioned, some restrictions need to be observed indefinitely, but most of activities of daily living should be no problem. You should be able to engage in leisure walks, play golf, doubles tennis etc.
Most (90%) of people will have no significant complications or other untoward events and will be content with the results of the operation. There is a subgroup of patients (about 5-10%), who continue experiencing pain beyond the expected time after surgery for no identifiable reason. However, it is important to follow up with your surgeon if you continue to experience pain, as sometimes it takes a long time (months or years) for some implant problems to “declare” themselves before a correctable problem eventually is found.
A typical total knee prosthesis should last anywhere from 15 to 20 years in up to 90% of patients. After that time more and more of the prostheses will fail and may need a revision (re-do) surgery.