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Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery can help ease joint pain in the arthritic knee and improve mobility – helping individuals enjoy pain-free activities of daily life. During the procedure, your orthopedic surgeon replaces the damaged/diseased joint with metal and high grade plastics to allow it to move like a healthy knee again.

Your provider may recommend knee replacement surgery if conservative treatments fail to address your pain or improve mobility caused by:

  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is the natural degeneration of cartilage and bone in the knee joint as you age. This breakdown causes chronic knee stiffness, weakness and giving out of the leg that interferes with your daily activities.
  • Joint painChronic joint pain can also be caused by a prior traumatic injury to the knee or a chronic condition, including Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis or gout.

Recovery Timeline

Knee replacement surgery is considered a complex procedure. At Temple Health, many of our patients are up and walking within a day of the procedure. Our care team includes patient educators, rehabilitation specialists, nurses and surgeons to help prepare you for every stage of surgery – from before you arrive at the hospital to recovering at home.

Before You Arrive at the Hospital

Spend time preparing your home to help keep yourself safe during your recovery. Set up an area on the first floor of your home where you are able to rest and recover comfortably without having to go up and down steps for the first few days. You may also want to set up a small table nearby with books or remote controls for the television. Be sure to arrange for someone to stay with you the first few days after surgery.

During Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery usually lasts about two hours. You are given anesthesia during the procedure as your surgeon removes damaged cartilage and fits the artificial replacement joint in the knee. After surgery, you go to a recovery room.

After Knee Replacement Surgery

A physical therapist begins working with you shortly after your knee replacement surgery – and a machine is used to work on gentle motion while you are in the hospital. It’s important to keep up with exercises to strengthen the knee and leg and restore motion to the knee.

Going Home

Most of the time, you should expect to be in the hospital for two to three days. Your surgeon discharges you once you are able to get out of bed or a chair on your own and use the bathroom.

Recovering from Knee Replacement Surgery

Rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery is important to help your recovery and improve your strength and motion in outpatient physical therapy. Your physical therapist teaches you exercises you can safely do at home and offers recommendations on how often you should perform them. Your care team also shares how to care for your incision and ways to reduce or control the swelling down after surgery, including regularly icing your knee.

Ready for an Appointment?

Find a doctor near you, request an appointment, or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

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Joint Replacement Program

Successful joint replacement takes a team effort—from diagnosis to surgery through rehabilitation. Let us help you get back to the activities you love.

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