Considering knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis?
Here’s what you should know.

Find a doctor in your area to see what's possible for you!

Living With Knee Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis typically develops after years of constant motion and pressure in the joints, causing the cartilage in your joints to gradually break down. Symptoms can include knee pain, stiffness and swelling.


If you are diagnosed with osteoarthritis, your doctor may recommend several treatment options.

Treating Knee Osteoarthritis Without Surgery

While knee osteoarthritis is an irreversible degenerative process, certain treatments can help manage the disease’s progress and minimize your pain. Non-surgical treatments include:

Physical therapy and exercise

Periodic rest and limiting certain activities

Warm or cold compress

Weight loss

Medications and injections

Supportive devices

Signs It Might be Time for a Knee Replacement

Non-surgical treatments for osteoarthritis don’t always alleviate the pain. Only an orthopedic surgeon can give you a correct diagnosis and help determine what treatment option is best for you, but here are a few indicators that knee replacement surgery might be for you:

Knee pain persists or gets worse after non-surgical treatments

Using medications or a cane fails to reduce your pain

You find it difficult to move around, climb stairs, and exercise

Knee pain prevents you from sleeping

Your knee feels very stiff after sitting in a car or movie theater

What Happens During Knee Replacement Surgery

During knee replacement surgery, the damaged portions of the bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with metal and plastic implants.

The procedure is intended to give you restored mobility and reduce painful bone-on-bone contact.

Partial Knee Replacement

If you experience pain and joint damage in only one part of your knee, your surgeon may recommend a partial knee replacement. In this procedure, only the diseased portion of the joint is replaced, leaving the healthy portion untouched. During partial knee surgery:

  1. The diseased portion of the thigh bone is replaced with a contoured metal implant.
  2. The corresponding portion of the shinbone is replaced with a metal implant as well.
  3. Then, a smooth plastic implant is inserted between the two, acting as cartilage.

Partial knee replacement is less invasive and typically requires less recovery time than total knee replacement.

Total Knee Replacement

When osteoarthritis affects more than one area of the knee, total knee replacement can be used as treatment. During total knee replacement surgery:

  1. The surface of the thigh bone is replaced with a metal implant.
  2. The surface of the shinbone is replaced with a metal implant.
  3. Then, a smooth plastic implant is inserted between the two, acting as cartilage.
  4. The undersurface of the kneecap may also be replaced with an implant as recommended by the surgeon.

These new surfaces move smoothly against one another, creating a functional knee joint.

We Were Made to Move™

It’s important that your knee implant precisely fits for your unique anatomy. That’s why Zimmer Biomet created Persona® The Personalized Knee® . The Persona Knee System is designed to alleviate your pain, restore your mobility, and improve your quality of life.

The features in the Persona Knee System give your doctor the most comprehensive selection to choose from — in order to best fit you.

If you are interested in the latest in robotic assisted surgery, check out the ROSA® Knee.

What Risks Are Involved?

Major medical complications, such as heart attack or stroke, occur even less frequently. Each of the following reactions or complications can occur during and after surgery and may require medical attention (such as further surgery and/or implant removal):

  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Slow wound healing
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to the knee implant components
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Stiffness
  • Poor range of motion
  • Swelling and joint pain
  • Knee instability and/or dislocation
  • Loosening or fracture of the knee implant components
  • Bone fracture or break during surgery
  • Leg length discrepancy