Knee Replacement Surgery

Doctor Examining Male Patient With Knee Pain


Total knee replacement surgery can reduce pain and increase function in up to 90% of patients according to the American College of Orthopedic surgery, with 90% lasting longer than 15 years, and 82% for 25 years. Risks of severe complications, including infection and blood clots are estimated at 2%. Damage to bone (osteolysis) and joint loosening are other more common complications and may require revision surgery. And while effective for most, 20% of patients may continue to experience pain even after successful replacement.


RESCU Treatment Ratings

R = Risk      E = Effectiveness      S = Self-Care

C = Cost     U = Usefulness (overall rating)

1 = Least Favorable     5 = Most Favorable


RISK: 3/5


Like any surgery, there are risks of infection, blood clots, heart attack, stroke and nerve damage, as well as risk the artificial knee won’t work properly.  Overall, these risks are low. Over 600,000 people get knee replacements in the U.S.A. each year and fewer than 2% develop severe complications, like infection.



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