Orthopedic Conditions

Knee Replacement: Who Needs It And Why?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 09 March 2023, Updated on - 20 June 2023

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As we age, our bodies undergo numerous changes that affect our ability to perform even the most basic tasks. Ageing also hampers our body's mobility and joint functionality and one of the most commonly affected joints is the knee. In most cases, the damages are so severe that the doctor has no other option than to suggest total knee replacement (TKR) surgery, better known as knee arthroplasty. Not only ageing but issues like arthritis and knee injuries can also call for knee replacements.

TKRs are becoming incrementally common in India. It is reported that India witnesses more than 2.5 lac cases of knee replacement surgeries every year. The reason being Indians are more prone to joint and bone disorders owing to vitamin and mineral deficiencies from poor nutritional choices.

That said, this blog will further answer all questions on who needs TKR and delve into the world of knee replacements.

Why Is Knee Replacement Needed?

Knee replacement is typically recommended for people with severe knee damage or pain that limits their ability to perform daily activities and negatively impacts their quality of life. Knee replacement may be needed for a variety of reasons, including the following:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common reason for knee replacement surgery. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can cause the cartilage in the knee joint to wear down, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the knee joint. Thus, leading to pain and damage in the joint tissues.

  • Post-traumatic arthritis: This type of arthritis can develop after a knee injury, such as a fracture or ligament tear, which damages the joint surface and leads to arthritis.

  • Knee deformities: Some people may have knee deformities, such as bowed legs or knock knees, which can cause uneven wear on the knee joint and cause arthritis.

Who Is a Candidate for Knee Surgery?

The decision to undergo knee surgery is based on various factors, including the extent of the knee damage, the person's overall health, and their ability to participate in rehabilitation after the surgery. Here are some general guidelines for who might be a potential candidate for knee surgery:

  • Severe knee pain: Knee pain that cannot be relieved with nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, medication, or injections

  • Difficulty with mobility: Difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of chairs or vehicles due to knee pain

  • Knee deformities: People with knee deformities, such as bowed legs or knock knees, may require knee surgery.

  • Severe knee damage: People with severe knee damage, such as bone-on-bone arthritis, torn cartilage, or a damaged knee joint due to injury, may be candidates for knee surgery.

  • Cartilage damage: People with worn out or damaged cartilage owing to injury, overuse and degenerative conditions are candidates for knee replacements.

  • Age and overall health: Age and overall health status may also be taken into consideration when deciding on knee surgery. Generally, knee replacement surgery is more common in older adults, but younger people with severe knee damage may also be candidates for this surgery.

Benefits Of Knee Replacement

Knee replacement provides several benefits for people with severe knee damage or pain. Some of the potential benefits of knee replacement surgery include the following:

  • Pain relief: One of the most significant benefits of knee replacement is relief from chronic knee pain. By replacing the damaged joint with an artificial one, knee replacement surgery can reduce pain and discomfort in the knee joint.

  • Improved mobility: Knee replacement surgery can also improve mobility and range of motion in the knee joint, allowing people to perform daily activities with greater ease.

  • Long-lasting results: Knee replacement surgery typically provides long-lasting results, with many people experiencing improved knee function for up to 20 years or more.

Potential Risks

Like any surgery, knee replacement surgery comes with potential risks and complications. Some of the possible risks of knee replacement surgery include the following:

  • Infection: There is a risk of infection with any surgery, and knee replacement surgery is no exception. In some cases, infections can be severe and require additional treatment.

  • Blood clots: Blood clots can occur in the leg veins after knee replacement surgery. Measures such as compression stockings, blood thinning medication, and early mobilisation are usually practised to reduce the risk of blood clots.

  • Nerve or blood vessel damage: There is a risk of damage to nerves or blood vessels around the knee during surgery, which can lead to numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg.

It is advised to discuss the potential risks and complications of knee replacement surgery with the orthopaedist before undergoing the procedure. Your doctor can help you understand the risks and benefits of knee replacement surgery and determine if it's the right treatment option for you.

To summarise, knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure for people with severe knee pain or damage. While there can be risks and complications associated with the procedure, for many people, the benefits of knee replacement surgery outweigh the potential drawbacks. By reducing pain and improving mobility, knee replacement surgery can enhance the overall quality of life. For more information,

Consult An Apollo Orthopaedic Surgeon


1. How long does knee replacement surgery take?

Knee replacement surgery usually takes between one to three hours to complete. However, it differs from one patient to the other.

2. How long does it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?

Recovery from knee replacement surgery can take several weeks to months, depending on the individual's health, age, and the extent of the surgery.

3. Will there be pain after knee replacement surgery?

Some amount of pain and discomfort is common after knee replacement surgery, but pain management techniques are used to minimise discomfort during recovery. In case the pain is severe, one should consult an orthopaedist.

4. Can I resume normal activities after knee replacement surgery?

Most people can resume normal activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and light exercises after knee replacement surgery but only after consulting the doctor.

5. How can I prepare for knee replacement surgery?

Preparing for knee replacement surgery typically involves getting a physical examination, discussing medical history with the doctor, and making lifestyle changes to improve overall health and reduce the risk of complications during and after surgery.

Consult An Apollo Orthopaedic Surgeon


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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