What is it: Replacing arthritic joints with artificial components.

Important Facts: The primary indication for total knee arthroplasty is to relieve pain caused by severe arthritis. The pain should be significant and disabling.

Knee replacement patients tend to remain active 20 years after their surgery, despite some age-related declines, according to a new survey of 128 patients.

Statistics: Approximately 130,000 knee replacements are performed every year in the United States.

The age and gender-adjusted incidence per 100,000 person-years significantly increased from 1971 to 2003, representing a greater than 400% increase in the incidence of total knee replacement (as compared with a 55% increase in total hip replacement during the same period).

It is projected that the number of primary total knee replacements will increase from 450,400 to 3.48 million by 2030, compared with a growth in the number of primary total hip replacements from 208,600 to 572,100 during the same interval.

Treatment Duration: The procedure itself takes approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Do’s/Don’ts: Position your knee comfortably as you go about your daily activities. Walk and perform range-of-motion exercises every day. Use an ice pack if your knee begins to swell. Elevate your leg one hour twice a day if your knee, calf, ankle or foot begins to swell. Compression stockings above the knee can be purchased at any medical supply store. At home, you can use a grab bar or shower chair for added safety, comfort, support and stability

Don’t twist your knee. Don’t turn your entire body. Don’t jump or otherwise put sudden, jarring stress on your knee.

Common Myths: Myth: A patient with knee replacement does not regain mobility by at least 6 months post-surgery and will walk with a walker. Fact: A patient with Knee surgery who undergoes quality physiotherapy post knee replacement generally walks independently within the first two weeks of rehabilitation.

Myth: Another myth arises because off the name of the procedure. The name total knee replacement is a misnomer. The knee of the patient is not totally removed and replaced with an artificial joint. Fact: In the ‘total knee replacement’ surgery, the knee is not replaced. It is only ‘resurfaced’.