Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement (also called total knee arthroplasty) is a treatment option for those who have advanced osteoarthritis in all three compartments of the knee. A total knee replacement replaces the damaged surfaces in your knee that bear weight and are causing pain.


A Knee Replacement Procedure Includes:

  • Preparing the bone - The damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur and tibia are removed along with a small amount of underlying bone.
  • Positioning metal implants - The cartilage and bone that is removed is replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts may be cemented or "press-fit" into the bone.
  • Resurfacing the patella - The undersurface of the patella (kneecap) is cut and resurfaced with a plastic button. Some surgeons do not resurface the patella, depending upon the case.
  • Inserting a spacer - A medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components, creating a smooth gliding surface. 

Surgery Is Recommended for Many Reasons Including:

  • Severe knee pain or stiffness that limits everday activities, including, walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs
  • Walking more than a few blocks without significant pain and the need to use a cane or walker
  • Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, either day or night
  • Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
  • Knee deformity - a bowing in or out of the knee
  • Failure to substantially improve with other treaments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries


There are no absolute age or weight restrictions for total knee replacement surgery. Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient's pain and disability, not their age. The majority of total knee replacements are in patients' ages 50 to 80, but each patient is evaluated individually. Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.


To find a qualified Orthopedic Surgeon, call our Physician Referral Service at (561) 263-5737.