Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments


Change Language

Knee Replacement: Procedure, Recovery, Cost, Risk & Complication

What is Knee Replacement? Knee replacement surgery is classified into 2 basic types- Indication Procedure Risk & Complication More Info

What is Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement, which is also known as arthroplasty is a type of surgical procedure done to resurface the knee as a result of damage due to the onset of arthritis. The surgery is generally recommended for a patient who is suffering from a serious case of arthritis or an individual who have experienced a bad knee injury. The surgery, resurfaces the damaged part of the knee so as to reduce acute knee discomfort. This type of surgery is known to effectively reduce knee pain for almost 90% of the patients who opt for it.

Knee replacement surgery is classified into 2 basic types-

  • Total knee replacement surgery- Through this procedure the knee joint is repaired with a metal covering that is placed on the thigh bone.
  • Partial knee replacement surgery- Through this procedure only the part of the knee that is damaged is repaired.


Knee replacement surgery is generally recommended to patients who have a severe case of osteoarthritis. It generally occurs with old age and the knee cartilage tends to break down because of the constant wear and tear. The onset of this condition hinders with knee movement and can cause acute pain. The condition may be treated through other methods like prescription of painkillers, physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medication. But if such treatment is ineffective doctors generally recommend knew replacement procedure.

A knee replacement may also be advised in case of a severe injury to the joint due to an accident.


Pre Procedure

Before one undergoes the procedure, the doctor explains the proceedings in detail and you will have to sign a consent form. A detailed medical history is taken again and relevant tests are done. Make sure to inform your doctor about any allergies you have or medication that you are taking.

In order to prepare the patient for the operation, water and food is stopped some 8 hours prior the procedure. A sedative is given just before the procedure to help the patient relax. Patients are also asked to arrange for someone to help them with recovery for a couple of weeks post the procedure.

During Procedure

Knee replacement surgery is performed under the influence of anaesthesia. The procedure is as follows-

  • The patient is prepped for the surgery and brought into the operation theatre
  • The skin at the site of the incision is cleaned with an antiseptic, and a cut is made.
  • The damaged part of the knee is removed and resurfaced with prosthesis, which may be metal or plastic. The prosthesis used may be either cemented or un-cemented, or even a combination of both, depending on the patients requirement.
  • The incision is then closed and stitched up or stapled. A drain is generally placed at the site of the incision to facilitate easy removal of fluid. The surgical wound is dressed.

Post Procedure

Once the surgery is done the patient is shifted from the operation theatre to the recovery room, where he is monitored constantly. You may have to stay at the hospital for a few days after the surgery. During this period you will start physical therapy to help you gain back knee movement. During this period pain killers are also prescribed to bring down the pain and help with exercise.

Once you are discharged and go home, ensure that you take care of the surgical wound. It should be kept clean and dry. Specific instructions will be given about how you can bathe and clean up. The dressing is generally removed at the next check-up. In case you develop a fever, or experience acute pain and swelling inform your doctor immediately. You can go back to your normal routine as soon as your doctor says it is okay to do so.

Risk & Complication

All surgical procedures involve certain complications, and so does knee replacement. A patient should be aware of the various risks of the surgery before undergoing it. A knee replacement procedure involves complications like-

  • bleeding or onset of infection
  • formation of blood clots at the site of surgery or in the lungs
  • fracture or the prosthesis may become loose
  • acute pain and stiffness of the knee
  • Injury to nerve cells or blood vessels at the site of the surgery
  • There may be some other risks involved depending on the patient’s health and medical condition, which should be discussed with the doctor before the procedure.

More Info

Knee replacement procedure was first done during the 1970s. During that period doctors were of the opinion that a knee implant would last for 10 years. Today, knee implants have a life of about 20 years. In fact it has been predicted that by the year 2030 about 450,000 knee replacement procedures will be done each year.

After the surgery the pain is reduced to a great extent and disappears in most cases. One can gradually go back to their normal daily activities and can even indulge in sports like golf, tennis, running and swimming without any problems. Quality of life is greatly improved.

Popular Questions & Answers

From last 2 weeks. I am facing server pain in my ankles.(with swelling) elbows and wrists and few fingers. It gets worse if pressed or moved. I have to take 1 pain killer (fenac plus) twice a day (1/2 each) to survive a day. I am not sure who is the specialist for it and I really don't have money to visit a Dr. to hear who can actually help. Please help with possible root cause and right type of specialist to go to get this cured please help as this is getting worse everyday.

DNB (Orthopedics), MNAMS (Orthopedic Surgery), MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Mumbai
Hi, based on your information, it appears you are having inflammatory polyarthritis, most probably rheumatoid arthritis. A consultation with a rheumatologist would be quite helpful to you at this stage of symptoms. Hope this is helpful to you. Wis...
1 person found this helpful

Last year I had a crif fixation by a screw on my left knee. Now it is said to be due to remove this month. My doctor is a very nice person but he has ignored my concerns about an additional ligament injury (pcl or acl) and/or meniscus tear even though I have specifically asked him about this. How do I proceed? To have an mri scan of the knee will be a good option?

Fellowship in Pain Management, MD, MD - Anaesthesiology , MBBS , Observer post
Pain Management Specialist, Pune
Yes mri scan is a good option may be other injuries may not require any surgical intervention .thats why treating doctor must not have done anything to it, but if you have pain or discomfort prp therapy (platelet rich plasma )is good non surgical ...
1 person found this helpful

I am diagnosed with moderate knee osteoarthritis (cartilage wearing out) was given hypericum lm20/lm10, argentum metallicum 1m/200c and calc phos 1m/200c (alternate the high and low dose monthly and to rest the knee no exercise) it's been one year and I feel good but now I started walking and my knee discomfort came back. I'm concerned cos it's just walking and my knee started to act up. Can you help me?

Fellowship in Pain Management, MD, MD - Anaesthesiology , MBBS , Observer post
Pain Management Specialist, Pune
Its a common problem of old age , this is because of degeneration of the cartilage Mild to moderate tupe of osteoarthritis is treatable 1.medication -mild pain pin killers like simple paracetamol/ collagen 2. Physical therapy having good results I...

I am a patient of osteo arthritis. Doctor suggested me knee replacement surgery and prescribed medicines temporarily for one month. How long can I take those medicines.

Orthopedic Doctor, Visakhapatnam
Hi You can use medications for sometime only , as long as it helps you temporarily. You can try other modalities like Physio, injections to knee . These might help you in long run If u r arthritis is severe degree- only replacement is only option.

Meri mom (50 years) ko osteoarthritis ki problem hai, unhe doctor ne shelcal 500 din me 1 bar 1 month khane ke liye bola tha but unhone din me 2 bar khali, jisse wo tablets 1 month ki jagah 15 din me hi khatam ho gai to kya mujhe 15 din or khane ki jarurat he.

MS - Orthopaedics
Orthopedic Doctor, Indore
what your mother did by mistake was indeed the right dose of shalcal. hows is her complain now? she should be taking calcium supplement regularly if she has osteoarthritis. however there are couple of other joint supplements which she should be ta...

Popular Health Tips

PCL - Know Reasons Behind It!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Orthopedics, Fellowship, Depuy Joint Replacement
Orthopedic Doctor, Bhubaneswar
PCL - Know Reasons Behind It!
The posterior cruciate ligament is one of four important ligaments within the knee. It keeps the lower leg bone (tibia) from sliding posterior to the thigh bone (femur). In many cases, injuries which tear the posterior cruciate ligament damage oth...
4367 people found this helpful

Sports Injury - Its Surgical And Non-Surgical Treatment!

MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Ghaziabad
Sports Injury - Its Surgical And Non-Surgical Treatment!
Knee is a complex structure of your body made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, articular cartilage, muscles and meniscus. Knee is a very important joint as it plays a crucial role in human movement and is also very much prone to injuries. Your sho...
4536 people found this helpful

Know More About Ankle Sprain!

Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, Nagpur, Ms- Ortho, Fellowship in Complex Trauma And Limb Reconstruction, FELLOW IN JOINT REPLACEMENT AND ARTHOSCOPY SURGERY
Orthopedic Doctor, Pune
Know More About Ankle Sprain!
You must have had an ankle sprain or at least heard of it it is an injury to the ligaments surrounding and connecting the bones of the leg to the foot. The injury occurs when you accidentally turn or twist the ankle in an awkward way. This can tea...
3960 people found this helpful

Ankle Joint Pain - Know The Causes & Treatment!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellowship& Shoulder & Elbow Surgery, Fellowship In Sports Orthopaedics, Arthroscopy And Shoulder Surgery
Orthopedic Doctor, Surat
Ankle Joint Pain - Know The Causes & Treatment!
Pain in ankle joints can be attributed to different sources. If there is a sudden event resulting in acute pain, it is more likely to be a sprain. If it is a chronic pain that is progressing over time, it is very likely to be due to various causes...
4010 people found this helpful

Sports Medicine - Everything You Should Be Aware Of!

MBBS, Diploma In Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics, Fellowship In Joint Replacement & Arthroscopy
Orthopedic Doctor, Mumbai
Sports Medicine - Everything You Should Be Aware Of!
Sports medicine belongs to a branch of medicines that specifically caters to sports fitness. It also treats all kinds of injuries sustained because of participation in physical activities such as sports or exercises. Details about Sports Medicine ...
3723 people found this helpful
Content Details
Written By
MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy),BPTh/BPT
Play video
All About Meniscus
Hi, I am Dr. Akshay Lekhi, Orthopedist. There are 2 meniscus. Meniscus knee ke andar shock absorber structure hai jo ki rubbery structure hai. Humare ghutne ki jo 2 haddiyan hai femur and tibia, unke bich mein ek cushion shock absorber ki tarah ka...
Play video
Osteoarthritis Of The Knee Joint Or Knee Replacement
Hi, I am Dr. Darsh Goyal, Orthopedist. Aaj hum baat karenge osteoarthritis of the knee joint or knee replacement ke baare mein. Knee humari body ka bohut important part hai because of humara pura weight iske upar aata hai. Ek normal knee joint mei...
Play video
Joint Replacement Procedure - An Overview
Namaskar, I am Dr. Ashwani Maichand, Orthopedist. Aaj main aap logon se joint replacement ke baare mein discuss karunga. Aisa maana jaata tha ki old age mein patient knee replacement karate hai, but last kuch years se hamare paas young patients aa...
Play video
Orthopaedic Surgeries
Hello, I am Dr. Shailendra Patil, Orthopedist, practicing in Mulund, Thane and Navi Mumbai. I do knee replacement surgery. I take a special precaution is not to cut the thigh muscles. Even after the surgery patient gets the very less pain because ...
Play video
Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Good Afternoon! I am Dr. Sanjay Kapoor, the consultant orthopedic surgeon in KK Health Care Centre, Sec-5, Gurgaon. Today I will tell you about osteoarthritis of the knee. This is the normal knee joint. It has femoral bone, leg bone which is calle...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice