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Knee replacement surgery

An operation to replace the knee joint (arthroplasty)

Knee replacement surgery can help to relieve chronic pain in your knee joint and improve your range of movement

About

The most common cause of knee joint pain is arthritis, which can be brought on by age (osteoarthritis), inflammatory disease (rheumatoid arthritis) or injury (post-traumatic arthritis). A total or partial knee replacement involves replacing the damaged joint surfaces with an artificial implant.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Knee replacement surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep during the procedure. Your surgeon will make a small cut at the front of your knee and remove any damaged bone and cartilage in the joint. An artificial joint implant – made of metal and plastic – is then fitted into place. Your surgeon will stitch the area, usually putting in a small drain to remove any fluid for the first few days after surgery. The whole procedure takes one to two hours.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Before surgery, your consultant will evaluate your knee condition to determine whether a total or a partial knee replacement is right for you. This will involve a physical examination to assess the current range of movement in your knee and how stable it is. Your consultant may also recommend an X-ray or MRI to get a detailed picture of the damage in your joint. Once your knee has been assessed, your consultant will explain the recommended procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You'll usually be cared for in hospital for a few days following your operation. You'll be encouraged to stand up and walk with the help of crutches or a walker as soon as possible. Your consultant may recommend physiotherapy exercises to help to build strength back in your knee and legs. You'll need to use crutches or a walker to move around for a few weeks after surgery. You should consider arranging for a friend, a family member or a carer to help you with tasks such as shopping, bathing and laundry during this time. Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including work or exercise.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Don't wait, pay for yourself

We offer this treatment at a fixed price at some of our facilities.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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