Total Knee Replacement

The knee joint is made up of three bones, the top is the thigh bone (femur), below is the skin bone (tibia), and the front is the knee cap (patella). They move and work together to ensure a smooth motion and function of the knee.

Total knee replacement (TKR) is an operation which involves replacement of the damaged bearing surfaces in the knee that are causing pain and decrease the normal motions and functions of the knee joint. TKR involves resurfacing the knee joint with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic. There are usually three components – femoral prosthesis, tibial prosthesis and patellar prosthesis. The materials used are very strong and are designed to last a reasonably long time inside the body. TKR is a common procedure and the replacement should last around 15-20 years.

The expected outcome of this operation is to repair the damaged knee joint. The knee joint will return to its normal motions and functions. This operation also help to prevent further damage of the affected knee joint and significant helps to relief from knee pain, improved mobility and the quality of daily living.


  • The operation can be performed under spinal or general anaesthesia
  • A tourniquet may be put around the thigh region of the limb to decrease blood flow to the leg
  • An incision is made in the anterior aspect of the knee joint
  • The diseased cartilage and bone are removed
  • The femoral, tibial and patellar prosthesis are implanted
  • A drain may be inserted for drainage of blood if necessary
  • The wound is closed and covered with sterile dressing

Possible Complications

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Stiffness
  • Fracture
  • Loosening of the parts

Post-operative Instructions

Wound Care
The wound will be covered with a sterile dressing which must be kept clean and dry
You may have a small drain coming from the knee to help drain any excess bleeding and reduce the swelling
The drain will normally be removed after 1 – 3 days (if applicable)
Cryotherapy and elevation can reduce swelling of the affected leg
The stitches will be removed at around 2 weeks after the operation
A normal diet may be resumed as instructed after recovery from general anaesthesia
 Please comply with the medication regime as prescribed by your doctor. Any follow-up consultations should be attended as scheduled.