What is Knee Replacement Surgery, procedure and Types - Dr. Darsh Goyal
16 Apr 2022

Having healthy knees is vital to carrying out day-to-day chores. Our knee is the largest joint in the body and comprises three parts: the femur, tibia, and patella. The femur is the lower end of the thighbone. The tibia is the upper end of the shinbone, and the patella is the kneecap. A smooth substance known as articulate cartilage protects the ends of these bones and allows the leg to move comfortably.

Between the femur and tibia, c-shaped wedges, aka menisci, act as “shock absorbers” that shield the joints. Not only this, there are large ligaments that hold the femur and tibia together and provide strength and stability to the knees. 

A synovial membrane covers all the left sections of the knee. This membrane is a thin lining and releases a fluid that polishes the cartilage, lessening the friction in a healthy knee.

Typically, these components work in accordance. However, if it gets infected by some disease or injury, the outcome will be painful, and the muscle will get weak and diminish its functioning.

What is Knee Replacement?

When your knee gets seriously damaged due to an injury or arthritis, it is tough to walk or climb the stairs and feels painful while sitting or lying down. Even after trying lots of things - medicines, injections, or physical therapy and nothing is working for you; then it can indicate that you need knee replacement surgery.

Knee replacement surgery can assist in alleviating pain and reinstalling function in those knee joints which are seriously infected. Knee replacement surgery demands cutting away injured bones and cartilage from your kneecap, thighbone, and shinbone. It then replaces it with a prosthesis. The prosthesis is an artificial joint formed from polymers, metal alloys, and high-grade plastics.

Types of Knee replacement surgery:-

  1. Total knee replacement: Total knee replacement is a high-standard type of knee replacement. The surgeon changes the top of the thigh bone and shin bone that attaches to the knee.   
  2. Partial knee replacement: Partial knee replacement is the right choice when the patient’s cartilage in the knee is normal, and you have strong knee ligaments. A tiny incision can operate this replacement compared to the cut performed in total knee replacement.
  3. Patellofemoral replacement: Patellofemoral replacement restores the under-surface of the kneecap and where it is placed. People suffering from chronic kneecap arthritis can benefit from this type of knee replacement.   
  4. Complex knee replacement: Complex knee replacement is also known as revision knee replacement. This procedure is done when the patient has already undergone two or three knee replacement surgeries. Sometimes it is also required for those who have serious arthritis. 
  5. Cartilage restoration: Cartilage restoration is the type of knee replacement surgery that is opted for when the knee only has a secluded area that can be restored with a living cartilage graft that can evolve into fully grown cartilage.

Why is a Knee replacement surgery needed?

There are certain causes that demand knee replacement surgery:-

  1. Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the prime cause of why patients go for knee replacement surgery. This issue generally happens to people who are either fifty or above. In this, the cushion between the bone joints and knee breaks down.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis: In Rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial membrane that encompasses the joint turns thickened and inflamed. This chronic inflammation can harm the cartilage and, in time, results in cartilage loss, pain, and becoming stiff. This arthritis is the most standard type of disorder known as “inflammatory arthritis.”
  3. Deformities: In deformities, the person either has bowed legs or knock-knees that repeatedly demand surgery to replace the position of the knee.
  4. Knee injuries: Knee injuries can happen when a broken bone or torn ligaments surrounding the knee at times develop into arthritis, resulting in extreme pain and restricting your action.

Knee replacement procedure

Before the procedure

The first step in the procedure is giving the anesthesia. After getting the input and preference from the patient, the doctor determines which type of anesthesia will be provided - general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia. In General anesthesia,  the patient becomes unconscious. On the other hand, in spinal anesthesia, the patient remains awake but cannot feel any pain from his waist.

During the procedure

The surgeon will first place your knee in a bent position to reveal all exterior of the joint. After creating a tiny cut, the surgeon moves away from the kneecap and separates the injured joint surface.

When the surgeon is done preparing the joint surfaces, he secures the section of the artificial joint. The doctor rotates and bends the knee and examines it to ensure its proper function. Generally, the surgery takes two hours.

After the procedure

The patient will be redirected to the recovery room for at least one or two hours when the procedure is complete. Generally, a lot of people go home on the same day. Doctors prescribe some medications that assist the patient in easing the pain.

The patient will be requested to move their foot and ankle, which will escalate the blood flow to the patient leg muscles and keep up in stopping blood clots and swelling. The patient will also be given blood thinners and asked to wear compression boots to shield from swelling and clotting in advance. Not only this, but they will also ask the patient to do breathing exercises regularly and slowly-slowly heighten their activity level. A physical therapist will also be there to show the ways to do knee exercises. Follow those exercises, diet, and wound care as instructed. 

Do’s & Don’t After Knee replacement surgery

The Do’s

Do take rehabilitation seriously: When you are done with surgery, make sure that you follow your surgeon's instructions carefully. Among the exercises mentioned by your doctor, there will be some exercises that you may find uncomfortable or painful to do, but they are necessary to perform. According to experts, fifty percent of positive results are based on the patient's dedication and determination to strive in physical therapy and rehab. Also, ensure that you take enough sleep and prescribed medications.

Do Use Walker: Walking is among the standard and effective methods for a kneel to recover. But if you walk right after your knee surgery without any support or help, it can be risky for your knee as it will put a lot of pressure on it. Thus, taking the assistance of a walker, at least in your initial weeks after the surgery, will be advantageous. 

Do take proper rest: Stress is prevalent during surgery and post-surgery. Proper rest of your body, especially the knee, is crucial to healing within the given time; ensure that you provide complete rest to the body.

Do Focus on the recommended diet: A proper and healthy diet is essential after orthopedic surgery. You must consume enough amount of fluid,  vegetables & fruits, especially those which are good in nutrients and vitamins. You are advised to avoid alcohol intake because it can harm your recovery process. Stick to the things prescribed by your doctor.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t put too much strain on the knee: At times, some errors in knee replacement surgery can result in problems. It's problematic of you to put a strain on the knee. If you wonder about the activities that can strain your knee, you can directly consult your surgeon. Prefer to avoid carrying heavy-weight objects till the whole surgery has been done. Instead of twisting your knee whenever you want to turn, always choose to move the entire body. If you are obese, you should lose some weight. This is because if you have a healthy weight, it will restrict the stress on the knee.
  • Don’t give up: Everyone is different, and so is their body. A person’s recovery time can be different from another. So, don’t lose hope; instead, believe in your treatment and be patient. Celebrate even the little progress. 

Why Dr. Darsh Goyal is the best choice for your Knee replacement surgery?

Dr. Darsh Goyal is a renowned Orthopedic Surgeon who has experience of nearly two decades in knee and shoulder surgery. He has worked in some of the finest hospitals across the globe. He has successfully treated more than nine thousand patients. Dr. Darsh has received training from some of the most respected institutes worldwide - NHS England, Hss New York, USA, and Munich, Germany. He has written many books and international papers. Dr. Goyal’s Bones & Joint Centre is among the best centers for advanced Arthroscopy/Laser Surgery for knee and shoulder and Fast track Total knee Replacement.


Q1) What should I avoid after knee replacement?

When you are done with surgery, avoid rocking chairs, sofas, stools, chairs, and soft chairs. And if you do sit in one of them, then make sure that when you are getting up, try to skim towards the edge of the chair and use the arms of the chair for assistance.

Q2) Which implant is best for knee replacement?

Although, your replacement procedure will decide which implant is best for you. But, the general standard type of knee replacement is a single radius knee. This implant offers a high level of extension and flexion for a majority of patients, nevertheless of gender, age, activity level, and other things.

Q3) How much walking after knee replacement?

You are allowed to walk for more than ten minutes. Within a week, your knee will be able to bend ninety degrees. Although, pain and swelling can make the process a little tricky. After ten days, typically, you should be able to ultimately hold out your knees straight.

Q4) How long does a knee replacement last?

Generally, the knee implants used will last about fifteen to twenty years. Some people at a younger age may require a second operation to have a cleaning of the bone surfaces and resecured the implants.