Total Knee Replacement

Orthopaedics Infoline

02 8382 0515

Email Us


What is a total knee replacement?

Total knee replacement surgery, also known as knee replacement surgery or arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged knee joint with artificial parts. It is usually recommended when the knee is severely damaged either through arthritis or injury, and non-surgical treatment options are no longer helpful. Healthy knees are important for simple activities such as performing daily tasks and walking up and down stairs. If the cartilage gets worn away, the smooth surfaces of the joint is disrupted, and the exposed bones end up rubbing against each other causing intense pain. Total knee replacement surgery removes the damaged end of the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia) and replaces them with factory-made implants. If necessary, the back of the kneecap (patella) is also replaced. This operation restores the mobility and function of the knee joint as well as considerably improving quality of life. It is now considered a routine operation.

Is it right for me?

Your doctor may recommend that you have knee replacement surgery if you have been consistently experiencing severe knee pain, difficulty walking, reduced mobility and stiffness or a limited range of motion. If you are suffering from osteoarthritis and non-surgical interventions such as pain relief, physiotherapy and walking aids are no longer helpful, knee replacement surgery may be an option. Your knee will undergo an assessment to determine the range of motion, stability and strength before your surgeon can determine whether knee replacement surgery is the best solution. Each decision is made on an individual basis which takes into account your age, weight, levels of activity and overall health as well as the condition of your knee.


Preparing for your total knee replacement involves several steps to ensure your safety and the success of the surgery. You'll undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation, including blood tests and imaging studies to assess your knee's condition. We advise discussing any medications you're taking with your doctor, as some may need to be adjusted or stopped before surgery. It's also important to arrange for assistance at home post-surgery, as your mobility will be temporarily limited. We recommend preparing your home by removing trip hazards and ensuring you have a comfortable recovery area. Staying as active as possible before the surgery can also aid in a smoother recovery.


After your total knee replacement, follow-up care is crucial for a successful recovery. You'll likely stay in the hospital for a few days post-surgery, where you'll begin physiotherapy to regain knee function. Once home, it's important to continue with prescribed physical therapy exercises and attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon. These appointments are essential to monitor your progress and address any concerns. Pain management and preventing blood clots are also key aspects of postoperative care. Gradually, you'll increase your activity level, with most patients returning to their normal routine within a few months. Remember, every patient's recovery journey is unique.

Total Knee Replacement FAQs

A total knee replacement operation typically takes between 1 to 2 hours. Our skilled surgeons at St Vincent's Private Hospital ensure that the procedure is performed efficiently and with the utmost precision, focusing on your safety and the best possible outcome.
While pain levels can vary from person to person, it's normal to experience some discomfort following a total knee replacement. However, our dedicated medical team will provide effective pain management strategies to help you stay as comfortable as possible during your recovery.
Gentle, low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and stationary cycling are excellent after a total knee replacement. These activities help strengthen your knee and improve flexibility without putting excessive strain on your new joint.
One year after your surgery, you can expect significant improvements in pain relief and knee function. Most patients experience a dramatic reduction in discomfort and a return to normal, everyday activities with much greater ease.
Yes, you can sleep on your side after a total knee replacement, but it may take some time before this feels comfortable. Using a pillow between your legs can provide additional support and help maintain proper alignment of your knee.
Running is generally not recommended after a total knee replacement due to the high-impact nature of the activity. However, there are many other forms of exercise that are safer and just as effective for maintaining your health and mobility.
The ability to drive after a total knee replacement varies, but most patients can resume driving after about 4 to 6 weeks. This depends on your overall recovery, ability to control the vehicle, and the type of car you drive (automatic vs. manual).

How much will my knee surgery cost?

Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:

Treatment Costs – Total Knee Replacement

What will my treatment and recovery look like?

Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.

Patient journey - Knee Replacement


Find a hospital with orthopaedic services

Our Hospitals