Knee Replacement Surgery – an Overview

Knee Replacement Components
(Zimmer Orthopedics)

Knee replacement surgery involves replacing some or all of the components of the knee joint with a synthetic implant, to repair the damaged weight-bearing surfaces that are causing pain. A total knee replacement surgery replaces all three compartments of the diseased knee joint. A partial knee replacement involves an implant in just one or two compartments of the knee, retaining any undamaged parts. While there are non-surgical and surgical interventions short of knee replacement which will often provide temporary relief, the long-term resolution to most knee degeneration will be joint replacement.

There are several different implant designs (see: total implants | partial implants) but each will offer renewed stability and movement. Overall, there are two main benefits to be gained from knee replacement surgery: (1) elimination of pain and (2) improved range of motion. Of all possible surgical interventions, total knee replacement offers the greatest quality of life improvement. The procedure has a high rate of success.

In order to make an informed decision about knee replacement surgery, it may be beneficial to learn more about the various implant options and the surgery itself.

Deciding About Knee Replacement (10 articles - View all)

How do I know if I need knee replacement surgery?

How do I know if I need knee replacement surgery?

The most common diagnosis of the cause of knee pain prior to knee replacement is osteoarthritis. If you are prevented from carrying out your everyday activities due to pain or discomfort in the knee, then you may have arthritis  [...] More >>

Reasons for Knee Replacement Surgery

Reasons for Knee Replacement Surgery

Although there are several conditions which may lead to the need for knee replacement, arthritis (whether it be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or traumatic arthritis) is the most common reason. A number of other factors contribute to joint disease [...] More >>

How successful is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement has become the most common form of joint replacement surgery. In 2010 over 721,000 such procedures were performed in the United States.1 Between 1991 and 2010, the incidence of knee replacements increased by over 161%, due partly to [...] More >>

What are the risks of delaying my knee replacement surgery?

Patients delay knee replacement surgery for a number of reasons, mostly out of fear and misinformation. Dr. Ian Clark, a medical researcher and founder of Peterson Tribology Laboratory for joint replacement at Loma Linda University, writes, “Most patients delay unnecessarily [...] More >>

View all 10 articles filed under Deciding About Knee Replacement

Knee Implants (11 articles - View all)

Knee Implants

Knee Implants

Although a number of factors contribute to joint disease including genetics, developmental abnormalities, repetitive injuries and obesity, arthritis is the most common reason for knee implant surgery. A diagnosis of advanced osteoarthritis of the knee will indicate the need [...] More >>

Total Knee Replacement Implants

Total Knee Replacement Implants

A total knee replacement replaces your diseased knee joint with man-made components, eliminating the damaged bearing surfaces that are causing pain. A diagnosis of advanced osteoarthritis of the knee will indicate the need for total replacement of the knee [...] More >>

Partial Knee Replacement Implants

Partial Knee Replacement Implants

Partial knee replacement (PKR) or resurfacing is necessitated when the arthritic damage to the joint is confined to one, two, or even three compartments of your knee: (1) Medial: the inner side of the joint next to the other [...] More >>

Types of Total Knee Implants

Types of Total Knee Implants

Total knee replacement implants are not one-size-fits-all or even one-style-fits-all. Prosthetic implants vary greatly by design, fixation and materials. Your implant may be a fixed- or mobile-bearing implant; a PCL-retaining design or a PCL-substituting style. It may be fixed [...] More >>

View all 11 articles filed under Knee Implants

Knee Replacement & Alternatives (18 articles - View all)

About Knee Replacement

In order to understand knee replacement it helps to first understand the knee joint itself, the types of knee replacement surgery, and a little about the knee replacement implants for each type of knee replacement. The Parts of Your Knee [...] More >>

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

When a surgeon considers a patient for a total knee replacement, she takes into account your age, lifestyle, and damage to the joint. The decision to use one procedure over another, or one type of implant over another, can depend on the surgeon’s training and experience. Total knee replacement surgeries offer among the greatest success rates of all orthopedic operations. More >>

What is the difference between total knee replacement and partial knee replacement?

If the knee joint disease is restricted to the inner side of the knee, your surgeon may simply reshape the damaged surfaces (partial (aka: "uni")). Not all patients are candidates, but a uni is considered less invasive and can require shorter recovery time than total knee replacement. More >>

Knee Resurfacing and Partial Knee Replacement

Knee Resurfacing and Partial Knee Replacement

Knee Resurfacing (also known as Partial Knee Resurfacing, Partial Knee Replacement (PKR)) retains the healthy compartments of your knee joint and only replaces the damaged surfaces. Resurfacing may be an option for you if the arthritic deterioration of your knee [...] More >>

View all 18 articles filed under Knee Replacement & Alternatives

Preparing for Knee Replacement (6 articles - View all)

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

Preparation for knee replacement surgery is mental and emotional. Reduce outside distractions in your life. Be aware of all aspects of the operation, your environment, and the instructions that are given to you by doctors, nurses and specialists. Taking an active role can help you achieve a more relaxed and positive attitude. More >>

Reducing Post-Operative Pain from Knee Replacement

Reducing Post-Operative Pain from Knee Replacement

It’s among the most common concerns for pre-operative knee patients. To be honest, there’s not an awful lot a person with arthritic knees can do before knee replacement surgery to lessen postoperative pain. When joints are damaged to the extent [...] More >>

Why is it important to get a second opinion for a total knee replacement?

While total knee surgery is a common procedure with a high success rate in the US, getting a second opinion is still recommended. Each surgeon has had a specific training and education, and more experience with certain procedures over others. [...] More >>

Benefits of Online Communities for Knee Replacement Patients

Online patient communities and patient forums, like our own knee replacement forum, have proven to be useful sources of much needed support and information for patients, and the benefits of such online communities are becoming well documented. Also See:  [...] More >>

View all 6 articles filed under Preparing for Knee Replacement

Recovering from Knee Replacement (11 articles - View all)

Recovering from Knee Replacement Surgery

Recovery Time One of the most common questions asked in our patient forum is “How long does it take to recover from total knee replacement surgery?” Each individual patient and circumstances differ significantly from the next. In most cases, though, [...] More >>

Reducing Post-Operative Pain from Knee Replacement

Reducing Post-Operative Pain from Knee Replacement

It’s among the most common concerns for pre-operative knee patients. To be honest, there’s not an awful lot a person with arthritic knees can do before knee replacement surgery to lessen postoperative pain. When joints are damaged to the extent [...] More >>

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

Most patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery want to know when they’ll be able to return to their normal life. Questions about “recovery time” are common. There are many factors that can affect recovery time, but typically patients can return [...] More >>

How can I manage pain after my total knee replacement surgery?

Pain is a major concern for patients who are about to have total knee surgery. Post-operative knee replacement patients want to know what their life will be like after their surgery, how much discomfort they will have, and how [...] More >>

View all 11 articles filed under Recovering from Knee Replacement

The Knee Joint (4 articles - View all)

About the Knee Joint

About the Knee Joint

To fully understand your knee degeneration, the knee replacement procedure and the mechanics of your knee implant, you will first need to know a bit about the knee joint itself and how it functions. While damage or wear [...] More >>

Knee Osteoarthritis (Arthritis)

Knee Osteoarthritis (Arthritis)

Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, is a joint inflammation that results from cartilage degeneration. Healthy cartilage acts as a specially lubricated surface in the joint and under normal conditions is perfectly smooth. When the cartilage deteriorates, it [...] More >>

Knee Pain and Problems from Injuries, Arthritis

Many knee problems occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home projects. Knee problems may also manifest due to injury, disease, overuse, or just everyday wear and tear. The complex design of the knee and the fact that [...] More >>

Reasons for Knee Replacement Surgery

Reasons for Knee Replacement Surgery

Although there are several conditions which may lead to the need for knee replacement, arthritis (whether it be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or traumatic arthritis) is the most common reason. A number of other factors contribute to joint disease [...] More >>

View all 4 articles filed under The Knee Joint

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