Knee Replacement Information : Surgical Information


When is knee replacement surgery recommended?

There are several reasons why doctors recommend knee replacement surgery. Those who can benefit the most from knee replacement surgery frequently experience knee pain that:

  • Limits daily life activities, such as walking, bending and going up and down stairs
  • Continues throughout the day and night, or when resting
  • Limits the ability to move or lift the affected knee
  • Remains persistent, even with use of anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, or supportive walking aids

What are some benefits of knee replacement surgery?

For most knee replacement patients, benefits can include: decreased pain, increased mobility, and an overall improvement in the quality of life.

When is a total knee replacement necessary?

A patient’s pain level and degree of disability determine whether knee replacement surgery is required, not age. Doctors typically reserve the procedure for patients whose knee pain is not alleviated by medication, physical therapy, use of supportive aids or other non-surgical treatments.

What is a ‘minimally invasive’ knee replacement?

Minimally invasive knee replacement means that the procedure is performed through fewer and/or smaller incisions. Candidates for a minimally invasive knee replacement are typically younger, healthier and weigh less than patients who undergo a total knee replacement. Because the surgery isn’t as extensive, patients usually experience less pain and tissue trauma.

The hospital stay following a minimally invasive surgery is also shorter, with some patients returning home the next day. Recovery and rehabilitation are also quicker. Some components are the same as those used in a total knee replacement.

How long does knee replacement surgery take?

It takes an experienced surgeon about 60 to 90 minutes to complete a total knee replacement, providing there are no unexpected conditions or complications. The total time from when the patient enters the operating room, receives anesthesia, and returns to the recovery room is usually around 2 hours.

How long will a new knee implant last?

Like all medical devices, orthopedic implants have a limited life expectancy that’s affected by the patient’s body weight, age, activity level, and other factors. This makes it difficult to predict how long a particular implant will last. On average, however, most high-quality knee implants should remain viable for 10 ~ 20 years. The success of knee replacement surgery also depends on how well patients comply with the physician’s instructions during the first few weeks of recovery.