How does knee replacement surgery work?

When an orthopaedic surgeon performs a total knee replacement, the goal is to give you positive long-term results by:

  • Providing pain relief,
  • Restoring mobility and function, such as walking and sitting
  • Improving stability,
  • Correcting any deformity.

Knee replacement is a surgical procedure where a diseased or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint.

It involves removing some small sections of bone where your femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and patella (kneecap) come together and replacing them with a combination of surgical-grade metal alloys and highly wear-resistant plastic.

The replacement joint is designed to move just like a healthy human joint, and will help with pain and restore the bending movement of the knee.

Total knee replacement

Watch these short videos to see how a knee replacement surgery is performed.


Partial knee replacement

The most common surgical knee intervention performed for osteoarthritis (OA) is a total knee replacement. During this procedure, the natural joint is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. This treatment option is usually offered to patients with advanced osteoarthritis of the knee. Total knee replacement may not always be optimal for patients with early to mid-stage OA in just one or two of the patellofemoral (top), medial (inner) or lateral (outer) compartments of the knee. If you are suffering with partial OA of the knee, your surgeon may recommned a partial knee replacement.


Knee surgery procedures

Knee surgery procedures

Restoring your mobility for the long term

If arthritis or knee injury is limiting your everyday activities, such as walking and bending, and you still experience pain when resting, your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery. It can also overcome the stiffness in your knee that limits your ability to move or lift your leg.

Knee replacement surgery is considered after careful diagnosis of your joint problem. If anti-inflammatory drugs or if other treatments, such as physiotherapy, are providing little pain and mobility relief, you may wish to discuss this option with your doctor.

Next Steps

Contact your GP or health professional to discuss your options