What is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty as it’s also known, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability. Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a partial or a total knee replacement.

Download Knee Replacement Patient Information Flyer (2 MB)

Conditions that benefit from knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery is most commonly performed for osteoarthritis (OA) and also for other knee diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis.

In patients with severe deformity from advanced RA, trauma, or long-standing OA, the surgery may be more complicated and carry higher risk.

Partial knee replacement surgery

If only one compartment is affected it might be possible to replace only the worn part. This allows us to preserve the unaffected parts of the joint.

An off-loader brace trail can help us decide whether a partial knee replacement will stop the pain. The final decision about whether a partial knee replacement is the correct option will be made during the surgery. Patients usually get a very good range of movement and recover quicker than those requiring a total knee replacement.

Partial knee replacement diagram and xray

We recommend Don Joy knee braces. Patient information leaflets can be found on the Don Joy website: https://www.djoglobal.eu/en_UK/Patient_Leaflet.html

Don Joy OA Nano knee brace

Total knee replacement surgery

If more than one compartment is affected by osteoarthritis then the whole joint will need to be replaced. Once the worn articular cartilage has all been removed new implants can be fitted. The metal parts of the implant are fixed to the bone with special bone cement. Occasionally we need to replace the underside of the patella with a small plastic implant. However, this is not always necessary.

Full knee replacement diagram and xray