Knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to replace a damaged or diseased knee joint with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. The procedure aims to relieve pain, improve mobility, and restore function in individuals with severe knee arthritis or other conditions affecting the knee joint.

Here’s an overview of the knee replacement procedure:


The surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep and pain-free during the procedure. In some cases, regional anesthesia or a combination of regional and general anesthesia may be used.


The surgeon makes an incision in the front of the knee, exposing the damaged joint. The size and location of the incision may vary depending on the surgical technique used and the patient’s specific needs.

Bone preparation:

The damaged portions of the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) that make up the knee joint are precisely shaped to accommodate the prosthesis. The damaged cartilage and a small amount of underlying bone are removed.

Implant placement:

The artificial joint components are then inserted. The components typically include metal components that replace the damaged surfaces of the femur and tibia, and a plastic spacer that acts as a cushion between them. In some cases, a plastic patellar component is also used to replace the surface of the kneecap (patella).

Patellar resurfacing:

Depending on the patient’s condition and surgeon’s preference, the undersurface of the patella may be resurfaced with a plastic component or left untouched.


Once the components are in place, the incision is closed with sutures or staples, and a sterile dressing is applied.

After the surgery, you will be monitored in the recovery area before being transferred to a hospital room. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are crucial for regaining strength, improving range of motion, and achieving optimal recovery. You may begin walking with the help of a walker or crutches shortly after the surgery, gradually transitioning to using a cane or walking independently.

Recovery time can vary, but most people can expect significant improvement within a few weeks to months. However, it may take up to a year to fully recover and regain strength and function in the knee.

It is important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee conditions to determine if knee replacement is the right option for you. The Alabama Bone and Joint physicians are experienced surgeons who can evaluate your specific condition, consider your overall health, and discuss the potential benefits, risks, and alternatives of knee replacement surgery. Schedule an appointment if you would like one our specialists to consult your current medical concerns.