How Long Does Knee Replacement Surgery Take?

How Long Does Knee Replacement Surgery Take?


Knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty is a surgery carried out to replace all or some portion of your knee joint. Your surgeon will replace damaged cartilage and bone with a prosthetic joint. 

The duration of knee replacement surgery is determined by the specific type of surgery, the patient’s general health condition, and various intraoperative complications. Usually, it takes around 1 to 2 hours to complete. This period increases when other surgical procedures such as ligament repairs, or complicated revisions are performed. It also includes the preparation and treatment before and after the surgery; therefore, a patient typically spends a few days in a hospital. Current studies show improved recovery times due to technology and procedure innovations.

What Is Knee Replacement?

Surgery to replace all or part of your knee joint is known as a knee replacement. It is a type of procedure called an arthroplasty (joint replacement).  During the procedure, an orthopedic surgeon will remove damaged parts of your natural knee joint and replace them with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic. This artificial joint is known as a prosthesis.

The following are the two types of knee replacement surgeries:

  • Total knee replacement
  • Partial knee replacement

What Is The Difference Between Partial Knee Replacement And Total Knee Replacement?

There are different types of knee replacement, two of which are partial and total knee replacement. They differ in the area of the knee that needs to be “reconstructed” and in the recovery procedure. Partial knee replacement, or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA), refers to the replacement of the affected part of the knee with a prosthesis, while the parts of the knee that have not been affected by arthritis are spared. This kind of intervention is performed on patients with osteoarthritis in one of the knee compartments, which are typically the medial or lateral one. Because it preserves more of the patient’s natural knee, UKA involves a smaller incision, less bone cut, and, potentially, a quicker recovery time than total knee arthroplasty. 

Total knee replacement or total knee arthroplasty involves the replacement of the whole knee joint with an artificial implant. The procedure is widely used in cases of osteoarthritis that are widespread in multiple compartments of the knee causing severe joint destruction and pain. In a total knee replacement, the damaged cartilage and bone in all three compartments of the knee, are removed and substituted with prosthetic components.

In conclusion, the choice between partial and total knee replacement is multifaceted and depends on such aspects as the degree of knee arthritis, the nature of its localization, age, activity, and other health indicators of the patient. Partial knee replacement can be more beneficial due to faster recovery, and preservation of the natural knee parts. However, it is not indicated for everyone, especially patients with more severe knee arthritis or its wider distribution. Therefore, it is important to consult an orthopedic surgeon.

Why Is Knee Replacement Surgery Done?

The most common indication for knee replacement surgery is to relieve pain caused by arthritis. Individuals who require knee replacement surgery typically experience difficulty getting out of seats, walking, and climbing stairs. 

The following are the conditions in which your orthopedic surgeon may recommend knee replacement surgery for you:

  • If you have experienced a fall or accident
  • If you have a sports injury
  • If you experience severe pain, stiffness, or swelling in your knee joint
  • If your knee joint mobility is restricted

Knee Arthroplasty- Procedure

The following are the processes involved in knee replacement surgery:

  • Your healthcare providers ask you to wear a surgical gown and to lie on an operation table
  • The process is carried out under general anesthesia to make you sleep during the procedure. (In some cases it may be carried out under regional anesthesia also)
  • The hair in the surgical site is removed and the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution
  • Your orthopedic surgeon will make an incision in your knee area to get access to the desired area
  • The damaged area is removed and replaced with an artificial joint and cemented
  • The incision is closed and a sterile bandage or dressing is placed

How Long Does Knee Replacement Surgery Take?

The specific kind of operation, the patient's overall health, and different intraoperative problems can affect the duration that knee replacement surgery takes. It usually takes one to two hours to finish. The duration of this time increases with the performance of complex revisions or additional surgical procedures such as ligament repairs. It also covers preoperative and postoperative care, which is why patients usually stay in the hospital for a few days. According to recent studies, advances in technology and procedures have led to faster recovery periods. However, a healthcare professional needs to be the first person to consult for more information.


Deciding to have knee replacement surgery is a major one, so it's reasonable to feel nervous and have a lot of questions. Before or after surgery, discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon and healthcare provider.  It can take months to fully recover from a knee replacement, but the effort is well worth it. Following a knee arthroplasty, a majority of patients experience much less daily discomfort and improved range of motion. Discover from your surgeon when it's safe to resume your regular activities and what to anticipate from your recuperation.

Experience personalized care in your knee joint replacement surgery from Dr ISHWAR Bohra, a senior orthopedic surgeon and the best knee replacement surgeon in Delhi. Book your consultation today.


Q: How long after knee replacement can you walk?

A: After knee replacement surgery, most patients are able to walk without the use of a cane or walker six weeks of the time. Everybody's journey to recovery is unique.

Q: How long will the artificial knee joint last?

A: According to research, more than 82 percent of total knee replacements are still functioning well after 25 years. However, wear and tear can adversely affect its performance and lifespan. Younger people are more likely to require a revision at some point during their lifetime, mainly due to a more active lifestyle. Discuss with a doctor about your particular situation.

Q: Can I go home the same day after knee replacement?

A: Same-day surgeries, also known as outpatient surgeries, occur when a patient leaves the hospital on the day of the procedure in a safe manner to recover at home. Of my patients undergoing knee replacement surgery, between one-third and half can return home the same day as their treatments.


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