Arthritis or traumatic injury to the knee can cause pain, deformity and stiffness that can severely limit daily activities. Knee replacement can alleviate that pain and restore the normal alignment of the knee, allowing you to move easily.

Not everyone is a candidate for knee replacement. Discuss the pros and cons of your different treatment options with your physician.

Types of Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

If the cartilage damage in your knee has occurred on both sides of the joint, or in all three joint components, a total knee replacement procedure may be performed. During the surgery, the damaged part of the knee joint is removed from the surface of the bones, and the surfaces are then shaped to hold a metal or plastic artificial joint. The artificial joint may be attached to the thigh bone, shin, and knee cap either with cement or special bonding material. When fit together, the attached artificial parts for the joint, relying on the surrounding muscles and ligaments for support and function.

Houston knee replacement surgery relieves pain in more than 90 percent of patients. Within months of surgery, most patients can play golf, drive a car or go for a long walk.

Partial Knee Replacement

If you have an injury or arthritic condition that disproportionately affects only one or two surfaces on one side of your knee, you may be a candidate for partial, or "unicompartmental," knee replacement. During this procedure, the surgeon resurfaces the diseased part of the knee and implants a smaller prosthetic.

This option offers many advantages, including preserving more natural tissue plus a shorter procedure with a smaller incision (approximately 3 inches) which can lead to a quicker recovery.

Am I a Candidate for Knee Replacement Surgery?

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic joint pain and a loss of mobility that brings challenges to the simplest daily routines. Knee replacements are a fairly common solution and one of the most reliable treatments in any area of medicine. For the right patient, they can be a game-changer.

Active, healthy adults from their 20's to their 90's can benefit from knee replacement. The best time for joint replacement is when you are experiencing chronic pain and are no longer able to enjoy an active lifestyle. Consider your quality of life. If you have difficulty walking and enjoying normal daily activities, it is time to explore options for relief.

Our quiz can help determine if you might be a candidate for knee replacement surgery.

Your orthopedic surgeon will ultimately decide if you are a candidate for the surgery based on your medical history, a physical exam and x-rays. Your orthopedic surgeon will ask you to decide if your discomfort, stiffness and disability justify undergoing surgery. There is usually no harm in waiting if conservative, non-operative methods are controlling your discomfort.

Talk to your physician about knee replacement surgery if you can answer yes to any of these questions:

  • Are you having knee pain that keeps you awake, or awakens you at night?
  • Are your normal, daily activities limited (walking, lifting yourself up, climbing stairs, etc.)?
  • Do you have knee pain that limits activities such as walking for exercise, traveling or shopping?
  • Have you tried other treatments for a reasonable period of time and you still have persistent knee pain?

The National Institutes of Health has concluded that knee replacement surgery is a safe and cost-effective treatment for alleviating pain and restoring function in patients who do not respond to conservative measures. In general, significant restoration of function and reduction of pain occurs in 90 percent to 95 percent of those undergoing knee replacement surgery. In some cases, partial knee replacements can be performed. In most cases, however, a total knee replacement is necessary.

Getting Started

Before deciding whether knee replacement surgery is right for you make an appointment with a qualified orthopedist to explore all of your options. Many patients wait too long to see a doctor.

To schedule an appointment with an orthopedist in your area, call (713) 272-1888 or schedule an appointment online.

Patient Stories

See how these joint pain sufferers found long-term relief from knee and hip pain with help from Memorial Hermann Joint Centers.

What to Expect

To better help prepare you with your upcoming joint replacement surgery, here is a list of common questions of what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Fact vs. Fiction

Are myths about joint replacement stopping you from getting relief from nagging joint pain? Don’t be fooled. Stop letting joint pain interfere with your life.

Let's get started.

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