What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

When a knee is so severely damaged by disease or injury, an artificial knee replacement may be considered. During knee replacement surgery, joint surfaces are substituted or replaced by prostheses. Nearly 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed annually in the U.S. The most common age for knee replacement is between 60 years old and 80 years old.

Our surgeons offer several types of knee replacement surgery, depending on your specific needs and the condition of your knee joint:

  • Gender knee replacement is knee replacement surgery geared to a woman's physiology, accommodating a more narrow implant than a man would need
  • Minimally invasive knee replacement utilizes the detailed imaging of a pre-operative MRI scan to plan a surgical course of action
  • Partial knee replacement treats only the diseased portions of the knee joint and retains the healthy ligaments and tissues
  • MAKOplasty® robotic-assisted technology is utilized at Inova Fair Oaks, Inova Loudoun and Inova Mount Vernon Hospitals for patients living with osteoarthritis and in need of a partial and/or total hip and knee replacement

What is MAKOplasty® Robotic Technology?

Our Inova Fair Oaks, Inova Loudoun and Inova Mount Vernon Hospitals are among only a select few hospitals in the region offering MAKOplasty® robotic-assisted partial and total hip and knee replacements.

The MAKOplasty® robotic technology improves accuracy, allows the surgeon to make adjustments for muscular and soft tissue alignment, and yields better outcomes for patients undergoing partial or total hip and knee replacements. This technology is typically used on patients living with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee.

Arthritis and Pain Relief

Each year millions of Americans visit their doctor because of knee pain. The most common condition that results in the need for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, a degenerative, joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and older adults. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in the knees. Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis that results from a knee injury can also lead to degeneration of the knee joint. In addition, fractures, torn cartilage, and/or torn ligaments also can lead to irreversible damage to the knee joint over the years. The decision to replace the painful knee with an artificial one is a joint decision between you and your doctor. Other alternative or non-operative treatments may first be used, including assistive walking devices, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and bracing. When non-operative alternatives are no longer working, knee replacement may provide relief.

What Happens Before Knee Replacement Surgery?

In addition to a complete medical history, your doctor may perform a complete physical examination, including X-rays, to ensure you are in good health before undergoing surgery. In addition, you may also meet with a physical therapist to discuss rehabilitation after the surgery and undergo blood tests (or other tests).