Knee Replacement Surgery

When a knee is severely damaged or injured, an artificial knee replacement may be considered. During the knee replacement surgery, joint surfaces in the knee are substituted or replaced by prostheses. Nearly 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are done each year in the U.S. The most common age for knee replacement is between 50 and 80 years old and the most common reason for knee replacement is osteoarthritis.

What Happens Before Knee Replacement Surgery?

Once you and your surgeon have jointly made the decision to go ahead with the surgery, there are several important things to remember:

  • Attend the preoperative anesthesia clinic
  • Attend the joint replacement class during anesthesia clinic visit
  • Identify a support person who will be the primary caregiver during and after surgery
  • Arrange for someone to take you to the hospital on the day of the surgery and take you home on the day of discharge
  • Plan how you will get your meals at home after the surgery
  • Stop smoking per your surgeon instructions
  • Discuss all medications with your surgeon and anesthesia doctors
  • Tell your doctor about any skin wounds on your feet, legs, buttocks and backside
  • Complete home safety checklist

What Happens During Knee Replacement Surgery?

Prior to surgery, your doctor will completely evaluate your medical history and perform a thorough physical exam in order to ensure that you are are in good health for the surgery. Once you are cleared for surgery, the procedure to replace the knee will take about 2 hours to complete. After the damaged bone and cartilage of the knee is removed, the orthopedic surgeon will place the new artificial knee in its place.

The most common type of knee prostheses used in replacement surgery is cemented prosthesis. A knee prosthesis is made up of metal with ceramic or plastic and is attached to the bone with a type of epoxy (a special adhesive).

After Knee Replacement Surgery

A typical knee replacement surgery lasts about 1-2 hours. After the surgery, you are moved to your private room.

Early mobilization is a big goal after surgery and your nursing and rehabilitation therapy team will assist you in making this a priority during your short stay in our hospital.

The therapist will make an individualized plan to get you walking and moving from one surface to another. Your family and friends are strongly encouraged to participate and learn how to assist you once you go home. The nursing team will help with your pain control so that you can participate in mobility training.

The case management team will work with the care team to plan for your discharge from the hospital. The team will also discuss any home care needs recommended by your care team and arrange this before your discharge.

Once discharged, you should follow up with your primary care physician. You will also have follow up appointments with the surgeon.

Our comprehensive program is designed to get you back to your normal function as soon as possible.