The knee joint is formed by the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) below. The patella (kneecap) sits in front of the knee joint and forms a joint with the femur. The joint surfaces within the knee are covered by articular cartilage, which allows smooth movement of the joints. A knee replacement is completed when the joints have extensive degenerative change or arthritis, where the joint surfaces are roughened meaning movement can be painful and restricted.
When you have a knee replacement done, you may have the whole knee replaced (total) or parts of the knee replaced (partial). The surgery involves replacing the worn joint surface with an artificial surface to allow normal joint movement.
At the time of the surgery you may be in hospital for 5—10 days. This allows times for you to be able to safely walk and therefore go home. However to maximize your outcome and get the best from your knee a rehabilitation
program is required for 3—6 months. This program can be provided by your physiotherapist and includes stretches, strengthening exercises, pool
exercise and possibly gym exercise. It also involves learning how to walk with crutches, how to walk up and down stairs and progressing to not need any aids at all.
For most people having a knee replacement means they will have less pain,
improved strength, and therefore they cope better with day to day activities. You can expect to return to activities such as gardening, walking for exercise, golf etc after your rehabilitation program.
Please note this information acts as a guide only. Please review with your physiotherapists if you have any concerns.