Beginner’s Guide to Knee Replacement Surgery 

Asian senior or elderly old lady woman patient show her scars surgical total knee joint replacement Suture wound surgery arthroplasty on bed in nursing hospital ward : healthy strong medical concept.

What is knee replacement surgery? 

Knee replacement surgery is a procedure to replace a damaged knee joint with an artificial joint. It is one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed in the world. 

Who is a good candidate for knee replacement surgery? 

Knee replacement surgery is typically recommended for people with severe knee pain and stiffness that does not respond to other treatments, such as physical therapy, medication, or injections. The surgery is most commonly performed on older adults, but it can also be done on younger people with certain conditions, such as arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. 

What to expect before surgery 

Before surgery, you will meet with your surgeon to discuss your medical history, symptoms, and goals for surgery. Your surgeon will also perform a physical examination and order some tests, such as X-rays and blood tests. 

In the weeks leading up to surgery, you will need to make some preparations, such as: 

  • Quitting smoking 
  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese 
  • Arranging for transportation and help after surgery 
two doctors performing a knee replacement surgery

What happens during surgery 

Knee replacement surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. During surgery, your surgeon will make an incision in your knee and remove the damaged cartilage and bone. Then, they will insert metal and plastic implants to replace the missing joint surfaces. 

What to expect after surgery 

After surgery, you will stay in the hospital for a few days. During that time, you will start physical therapy to learn how to move your new knee. You will also be given medication to manage pain and swelling. 

Once you are discharged from the hospital, you will continue physical therapy at home or at an outpatient facility. It is important to follow your physical therapist's instructions carefully to ensure a full recovery. 

Cropped image of handsome doctor bandaging woman's injured knee while working in his office

Recovery from knee replacement surgery 

Most people make a good recovery from knee replacement surgery and experience significant pain relief and improved mobility. However, it is important to be patient and realistic about your recovery. It can take several months to fully recover from surgery. 

Here are some tips for a successful recovery: 

  • Follow your surgeon's and physical therapist's instructions carefully. 
  • Take your medication as prescribed. 
  • Get plenty of rest. 
  • Eat a healthy diet. 
  • Avoid strenuous activities until your surgeon says it is okay. 

Risks and complications of knee replacement surgery 

Like any surgery, knee replacement surgery carries some risks and complications. These include: 

  • Infection 
  • Bleeding 
  • Blood clots 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Loosening of the implant 
  • Allergic reaction to the implant 



Knee replacement surgery is a safe and effective way to relieve pain and improve mobility in people with severe knee arthritis. If you are considering knee replacement surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.