Preparing for a knee replacement operation

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What is a knee replacement?

A knee replacement is an operation in which your knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint.

What type of anaesthetic will I have?

There are two main types of anaesthetic given for this surgery:

  • spinal anaesthetic – the lower half of your body is numbed by an injection in your lower back. This can be given on its own, with sedation (medicine to relax you) or together with a general anaesthetic to help with pain relief after the operation
  • general anaesthetic – anaesthetic drugs which make you unconscious, so that you will feel nothing throughout your operation.

A nerve block (an injection of local anaesthetic around the nerves that go to your legs) might also be used to reduce pain after surgery.

Your anaesthetist will talk with you about the ways in which you can have your anaesthetic – based on your health, age and other medical conditions. Together you can choose the best method for you.