Knee replacement is normally considered when the joint cartilage is worn down to bone. Thousands are performed each year and long term results are comparable to total hip replacement. Surgery either takes place under a general anaesthetic or with an anaesthetic injection in the back (spinal anaesthetic) with or without sedation.
Hospital stay is between 2 and 3 days and it usually takes 3 months to get over the procedure and return to normal activities, although this is variable upon individual circumstances.
Rehabilitation can start on the first day of surgery. The physiotherapist will advise you when to do this and will provide you with a programme of activities to perform in hospital and when you go home.
Long term recovery and function is dependent upon not only the quality of the initial surgery but also the amount of work done by the patient in the rehabilitation phase.