Total Knee Replacement: Need, What To Expect, and Recovery time?

Knee arthroplasty or knee replacement surgery can alleviate pain and restore function in severely affected knee joints. The surgery involves the removal of the damaged bone and cartilage from the thighbone, shinbone and kneecap. Once that is done, an artificial joint (prosthesis) made of metal alloys, plastics and polymers replace the damaged bone.

An orthopaedic surgeon will first assess the patient’s knee’s range of strength, stability and motion to establish whether or not a knee replacement is required. What help in determining the extent of damage are X-rays.

An Orthopedic surgeon will consider the patient’s age, weight, level of physical activity, shape, knee size and overall health before they can advise what type of knee replacement prostheses and surgical treatments is right for you. 

The surgery is mainly carried out on people in the age group of 60 and 80. And for those between 55 and 64, a minor operation called partial knee replacement surgery can be performed. The prosthesis must be redone for this kind of surgery within ten years.

Visit Pranaam Hospitals for a successful knee replacement surgery in Hyderabad.


Osteoarthritis pain relief is the main reason why knee replacement surgery is recommended. Those who need the surgery find it challenging to walk, climb the stairs, get in and out of their seats and most often, some have knee pain while in a resting position.

Besides osteoarthritis, other conditions that cause knee damage are:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Haemophilia
  • Unusual bone growth
  • Knee injury
  • Death of bone
  • Knee deformity with pain 
  • Loss of cartilage

This kind of surgery is recommended when physiotherapy, steroid injections and all else fail to reduce the pain and interfere with the quality of life and sleep.

Before surgery

  • Requires anaesthesia
  • Intravenous antibiotic
  • Nerve blocker

During surgery

  • Knee will be bent to expose all surfaces
  • Six to ten inches incision will be made 
  • The surgeon moves the knee cap and cuts the damaged joint surfaces
  • Pieces of the artificial joint are attached
  • Before closing the incision, the knee is bent to ensure proper function
  • This is a 2-hr surgery


  • Moved to a recovery room for 1-2 hours, and this depends on a case-to-case basis
  • Can go home the same day
  • Medications will be prescribed
  • Movement of the foot and ankle is encouraged as it increases blood flow and prevents swelling and clots
  • Blood thinners will be given
  • Support hose or compression boots need to be worn to avoid swelling and clots
  • Breathing exercises and low-impact activities 
  • will be made part of the daily regime

Diet & Medication

The Anesthesiologist may recommend stopping medications and curbing a specific diet before the surgery. The patient will be asked not to observe fasting post-midnight on the day of the surgery.


Recovery from a knee replacement surgery looks like this:

  • 3-5 days in the hospital
  • Post-surgery care
  • Frame or crutches are to be used until advised not to
  • Under the supervision of a Physiotherapist

Total recovery can be experienced after two years as it takes that time for the scar tissue to heal and muscles to be restored through physiotherapy and exercise. 


  • Live on the ground floor since climbing stairs is not an option
  • Install safety bars
  • Secure stairway handrails
  • Get rid of loose rugs
  • Invest in a stable chair with a firm seat, backrest, and footstool to elevate the leg.

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Like any other surgery, knee replacement surgery comes with its risks:

  • Infection of the bone
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Nerve Damage
  • Blood Clots


For most, knee replacement provides pain relief that is expected to last more than 15 years. One can resume daily activities 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. Once the knee can be bent around week 3, driving is possible, too, provided one is on painkillers and there is enough muscle control to manoeuvre between the brakes and accelerator.

The doctor should seek a thorough consultation about what activities can be resumed and what cannot be done. For example, post-recovery, low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, golfing, or biking can be continued, and high-impact activities such as jogging, trekking, tennis and sport that involve heavy contact or jumping should be avoided. 


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Physical weakness or vulnerability due to an underlying health condition or after surgery resorts to a patient’s mental, physical and emotional decline. At Pranaam, our expertise in physical rehabilitation extends to various disciplines, including orthopaedics, cardiology, oncology, gynaecology, paediatrics, sports medicine, general surgery and more, aiding patients of all ages who suffer from different ailments.

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