What Is Knee Replacement? The Pros And Cons Of Knee Replacement Step-by-Step

knee replacement

Knee replacement is a surgical procedure that involves the replacement of a knee joint affected by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis tends to progress more rapidly in women than in men, so women are more likely to need this surgery. 

People should be aware of the benefits they can expect, as well as the risks involved in this procedure. 

If you are contemplating undergoing knee replacement surgery, read on to find out the pros and cons to help you make a decision.

What is a knee replacement?

It is a procedure performed to alleviate chronic knee pain, usually due to arthritis. It involves removing affected soft tissues and part of the knee bone, then replacing them with an implant or prosthetic joint components. [1]

There are basically two types of these procedures: the traditional knee replacement, and the minimally invasive knee replacement. 

A traditional knee replacement requires making a large skin incision compared to a minimally invasive knee replacement. It also involves the removal of a larger portion of the soft tissues like the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. A minimally invasive knee replacement is often preferred over traditional procedures. [2]

It can be performed on one or both sides. Most women develop osteoarthritis in the knee joints of both sides. A family history of osteoarthritis may increase the risk of bilateral knee replacement. 

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If knee pain is severe, a doctor may advise a person to undergo this on both sides. There are several benefits of undergoing bilateral knee replacement vs a knee replacement on one side. People who suffer from severe pain should take into consideration the benefits and risks of bilateral knee replacement. [3]

Here are the pros and cons of this surgery.

What are the benefits of a knee replacement?

Here are some benefits has given below:

1. Minimizes knee pain

It could be a good option for people who experience severe knee pain, especially when it affects their normal activities or if the pain persists while at rest.  [4] [5]

It can ease pain and improve the mobility of the joints. For some people, knee pain can make them dependent on others to help with daily activities. 

2. Long term relief

Unlike pain killers, the results of this surgery are long-lasting. Many people get long-term relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis by undergoing a knee replacement. An implant usually lasts for 15 to 25 years.

A healthy lifestyle will improve a person’s chances of successful pain relief after this replacement. [6] [7

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3. Freedom of movement

Most people who undergo a knee replacement are happier and more relaxed because their implants allow them the freedom of pain-free movement. The disabling pain caused by osteoarthritis often forces people to give up the activities they enjoy. It may even prevent them from simple pleasures like taking a walk in the park. This surgery can enable people to resume their physical activities with less restrictions and discomfort. [8] [9]

4. Advantages of a bilateral knee replacement 

The advantages of a bilateral knee replacement are generally associated with cost and convenience.

People who undergo a double knee replacement only need to schedule one recovery period and generally miss less work.

They also only have one hospital stay after surgery. A double knee replacement would require one hospital stay of about 4 days. Undergoing this surgery for both sides separately, on the other hand, would require a hospital stay of 3 days after each surgery. 

The costs involved in treatment and post-operative care, like physical therapy, can also be reduced if a person plans knee surgery for both knees at the same time. 

What are the risks involved in knee replacement surgery?

  • People need to restrict their activities for a few weeks after the procedure to allow the joint to heal.
  • A person must be committed to adopting a healthy lifestyle to improve the outcome of the surgery. People should control their diet, maintain a healthy weight, and follow the recommended physical therapy routine to achieve a long-term improvement in their joint flexibility. 
  • Younger people undergoing this surgery may need a surgical revision as the implant usually lasts for 15 to 25 years.
  • As with any other surgery, It has a risk of infection and blood loss. 
  • It is important to talk with your doctor about the results you can expect. Having unrealistic expectations can make a person feel disappointed after the procedure. Sometimes, patients believe that it will allow them to perform strenuous physical activities. Having realistic expectations can make a patient feel more satisfied with the results of surgery.

What can women do to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of this surgery?

  • Use a cane or a walker to minimize pressure on the knee joints before and after the procedure
  • Practice muscle strengthening exercises to improve balance and joint flexibility
  • Avoid the intake of high-fat, high-carb foods to prevent obesity
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Include omega 3 fatty acids in the diet to minimize inflammation and damage to the joints
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake


People who suffer from severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis can consider knee replacement surgery to get relief. It is possible to restore the flexibility of your knee joint and alleviate pain by undergoing this procedure. 

Consider the pros and cons of this surgery and set realistic expectations. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help you get the best results from this surgery and avoid the risks involved in any surgery.

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  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6134884/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499896/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382388/
  4. https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/features/joint-replacement-risks-benefits#1
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14646737/
  6. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments_and_procedures/hic_Joint_Replacement
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3351964/
  8. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/joint-surgery/preplanning/total-knee-replacement-surgery-considerations
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856387/

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