A knee replacement is an operation for serious arthritis or damage to the knee joint. During a knee replacement, a surgeon removes the parts of your knee that have been damaged by arthritis. The surgeon then replaces the damaged parts with new parts made of metal and plastic.
The most common cause of ongoing knee pain as we get older is osteoarthritis. For some people this reaches a point where the pain or problems with walking or getting around become so bad, they wish to consider knee replacement surgery. It is pretty amazing that we can replace joints like this, however it does have risks and doesn't last like a normal joint.
Video explaining knee replacement
Deciding if knee replacement is right for you
Before deciding to have knee surgery and a knee replacement, it is very important to make sure you understand the pros and cons so you can decide if this is the best approach for you. You may find these option grids useful to consider the different treatment options. Option Grid Collaborative
Janet Collins has had both her knees replaced and can walk much better than before.
“I have severe arthritis and had been in a lot of pain with my knees for some time. They were very swollen too. I went to the hospital and had an X-ray and the doctor suggested a knee replacement. "I had my left knee done in 2002 and my right in 2004. I was quite nervous before the first operation, but the consultant came down to greet me and held my hand. The operation went well and the next day the physiotherapist helped me to lift my leg up and bend it slightly. After that, I got up and had a walking frame. I was out of hospital within a week. The operation affected my sciatic nerve, which was very painful at first, but it gradually got better." Read more ... (NHS Choices website)