Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

Knee swelling after surgery


Knee swelling is very common after knee surgery and has been shown to affect pain, motion, muscle contraction and function. 

Very few studies have measured swelling after surgery or variables associated with it. It is not known how knee swelling affects the final outcome after surgery or risk of future osteoarthritis. 

Is swelling important? Is it harmful or helpful?  Should it be prevented?

Many methods have been used to control and prevent swelling in the hope of speeding recovery such as cooling, use of compression devices, elevation and placing a drain in the knee after surgery. These have failed at reducing swelling in all but the early stage after operation.

What the research hopes to achieve

There will be three threads to the research:

  1. Investigate methods for measuring knee swelling before and after knee surgery, including an infrared volume measure; innovative in use after knee surgery.
  2. Investigate any other variables that are associated with, or influenced by, swelling (before and after surgery).
  3. Investigate methods of controlling swelling after surgery.
Work Package  Epidemiology (WP1)
Biomarkers (WP2)
Principal Investigator  Prof Fares Haddad (UCL)
Investigator  Bruce Paton 
Collaborators  Institute of Sport Exercise and Health, University College London; University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Centre for Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences, King’s College London