Orthopedic Conditions

A Complete Guide on Knee Replacement Surgery

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Do you suffer from chronic knee pain that limits your daily activities and affects your quality of life? It's a common problem, especially as you age. From climbing stairs to running, even walking becomes painful. And if it's due to a worn-out knee joint, then one of the most effective solutions might be knee replacement surgery.

This surgical procedure involves replacing the damaged or diseased portions of the knee joint with artificial components, providing pain relief and improved mobility. Knee replacement surgery is one of the most successful orthopaedic surgeries, with over 90% of patients reporting a significant improvement in their quality of life.

But what happens during knee replacement surgery? This blog explains all the steps involved in this life-changing procedure, from preparation to recovery. So, if you're considering knee replacement surgery or simply curious about the process, read on to learn more.

What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing a damaged knee joint with an artificial joint. There are various types of knee surgeries, including total knee replacement surgery and partial knee replacement surgery. The goal of knee replacement surgery is to relieve pain and restore function to the knee joint.

Why Is It Done?

Knee replacement surgery is definitely not the first thing that is recommended to people with severe knee pain and stiffness that interfere with their daily activities, such as climbing stairs, walking, or getting in and out of a chair. It is recommended as the last resort when medications, physical therapies and injections fail to cure the pain and joint problem. The most common reasons for knee replacement surgery include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.

Consult our Orthopedicians to know whether you need to undergo knee replacement surgery or not.

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

Before undergoing a knee replacement surgery, an orthopaedist usually evaluates the patient's overall health and the condition of their knee joints. The patient has to undergo a series of imaging tests, such as X-rays or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, for the doctor to correctly assess the extent of damage to the joint.

The doctor may also advise the patient to stop taking certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin or blood thinners, for a certain period of time before the surgery.

During the Surgery

During the surgery, the patient is given general or spinal anaesthesia to numb the area. The orthopaedic surgeon will then make an incision on the knee and remove the worn-out joint surfaces. The artificial joint, which is made of medical-grade metal and plastic, is then attached to the remaining bone surfaces using specialised bone cement and screws.

After the artificial joint is attached, the surgeon will close the incision using stitches or staples. The entire procedure usually takes 1-2 hours.

After the Surgery

After the knee replacement surgery, the patient will be shifted to a recovery room, where he/she will be monitored closely by medical experts. It's common for the patient to experience some pain and discomfort after the surgery, and the doctor may prescribe painkillers to alleviate these symptoms.

The patient may be advised to wear a knee brace or use crutches for a certain period to prevent him/her from throwing any weight on the affected knee joint. The doctor may also recommend physical therapy to help the person regain strength and mobility in the knee joint.

Risks & Complications of Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is generally safe. Although, like any other surgery, there are potential risks that patients should be aware of. These may include the following:

1. Infection

Infection at the surgical site is a rare but serious complication of knee replacement surgery. To reduce the risk of infection, the surgeon will use sterile instruments during the procedure and prescribe antibiotics before and after surgery. The doctor may also ask the patient to keep the surgical site clean using antibacterial solutions until it heals.

2. Blood clots

Blood clots can form in the leg veins and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. To prevent blood clots, your surgeon may prescribe blood-thinning medications or encourage you to wear compression stockings and exercise gently after surgery.

3. Nerve damage

Nerve damage can occur during knee replacement surgery, although this is rare. If damage occurs, you may experience numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of sensation in the affected area.

While these complications are possible, they are relatively rare. If a patient has any concerns about the risks of knee replacement surgery, he/she should discuss them with the doctor.

In conclusion, knee replacement surgery is a procedure that can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals suffering from knee pain or discomfort. Remember, early intervention is key when it comes to knee health. By consulting a specialist who diagnoses and treats knee conditions, one can improve the chances of a successful outcome and enjoy a better quality of life.


Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

1. Is knee replacement surgery painful?

While knee replacement surgery itself is performed under anaesthesia and is not painful, patients may experience some discomfort during the recovery period. Pain management strategies such as medication and physical therapy can help to alleviate this discomfort.

2. Can knee replacement surgery be performed on both knees at once?

In some cases, knee replacement surgery can be performed on both knees simultaneously. However, this decision depends on the patient's health conditions and should be discussed with their surgeon.

3. Can one participate in sports or other physical activities after knee replacement surgery?

While many patients are able to resume physical activities after knee replacement surgery, it is important to discuss with the surgeon what activities are appropriate for them as per their conditions.

4. How long does a knee replacement last?

The lifespan of a knee replacement implant varies depending on the type of implant used, but most implants last between 10-20 years.

5. What is the success rate of knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery has a high success rate, with most patients experiencing significant improvement in their knee pain and mobility following the procedure.

Book your appointment with the Best Orthopaedic Doctor Near You and avail the safest knee replacement surgery.


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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