Total Knee Replacement

Make an appointment today. No referral necessary.

Your knees do a lot for you every day. The knee joint is one of the most stressed joints in the body, absorbing shock from walking and running and holding your weight while standing. The knee needs at least 10 different muscles, plus bones, cartilage and ligaments, to work properly. Damage to the knee is common the older you get, especially if you are active in ways that put extra stress on the joint. Total knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty) can relieve pain, give you back range of motion and have you back in the swing of things.

Do I Need a Total Knee Replacement?

You might need a total knee replacement if most of the parts of your knee are worn out, injured or otherwise damaged from use or illness. If pain and mobility issues are interrupting your daily life, you might be a good candidate for this procedure. The most common reason for this surgery is to relieve pain and restore the knee’s ability to move as it should. You might be a candidate for total knee replacement surgery if you have:

  • Arthritis: Stress on the joint over a long period of time may lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in the knee.
  • Knee injuries: An accident or sudden trauma can result in damage that requires surgery.
  • Tumors: Some tumors are benign (harmless), while others are malignant (cancerous).

If only part of the knee is damaged, doctors can sometimes repair that piece. This is called a partial knee replacement. If the entire joint needs to be replaced, the doctor can use artificial parts to replace the entire joint. This is a total knee replacement. There are benefits and drawbacks to both of these procedures, and your doctor will help you understand if a total or partial knee replacement is a better option for you.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

This surgery replaces the damaged surfaces in your knee that are causing pain. At the lower end of the femur (thighbone), the bone is trimmed to fit a specially shaped metal implant. The upper end of the tibia (shinbone) is trimmed to accept a metal tray. A plastic bearing is fitted into this tray.

The implant parts are attached to the cut bone surfaces by the surgeon’s choice of bone cement or a noncement method called “bone ingrowth.” The majority of knee replacements generally are cemented into place.

The outer surface of the femur component is shaped to allow the kneecap (patella) to slide up and down in its groove. The surgeon may choose to retain the natural kneecap or resurface it.

The cruciate ligaments are bands of thick tissue inside the knee. They provide support to and stabilize the movement of the knee. In total knee replacement surgery, these can be kept or removed.

Knee replacement parts are made of different materials, including:

  • Stainless steel
  • Titanium and titanium alloys
  • Cobalt and cobalt alloys
  • Polyethylene
  • Zirconium

These materials are medical grade, which means they are safe to use in humans and last a long time.

Two surgical methods we use at Norton Orthopedic Institute include:

  • CORI Surgical System

The CORI Surgical System, a robotics-assisted knee replacement surgery tool, combined with the widest selection of implants available, allows your surgeon to place the new joint with an alignment that more closely matches that of your healthy knee.

The system’s 3D digital modeling is used to develop a surgical plan customized to the patient’s anatomy. This means Norton Orthopedic Institute surgeons can perform the procedure more accurately than with traditional knee replacement surgery.

  • ROSA Knee System

Norton Orthopedic Institute has extensive experience with the ROSA Knee System, another robotics-assisted knee replacement tool.

In addition to its superior precision, the system uses lower-radiation X-rays to create a 3D model of the existing anatomy so surgeons can plan specifics of the replacement ahead of time.

What to Expect With Total Knee Replacement Surgery

After you check in at the hospital, you’ll be asked to remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown. Then you’ll be given either a spinal block, which numbs the lower half of your body, or a general anesthetic, which puts you into a sleeplike state.

Your surgeon might also might inject a numbing medicine around nerves or in and around the joint to help block pain after your surgery.

During the procedure

Knee replacement surgery usually takes one to two hours. The surgeon will:

  • Make an incision over the knee
  • Remove diseased and damaged bone and cartilage, leaving healthy bone intact
  • Implant the replacement parts into the thighbone, shinbone and kneecap

After the procedure

After surgery, you’ll rest in a recovery area for a short time. How long you stay in the hospital after surgery depends on your individual needs. Many people can go home the same day.

The risk of blood clots increases after knee replacement surgery. To prevent this complication, you may need to:

  • Move soon after surgery. You’ll be encouraged to sit up and walk with crutches or a walker after you leave the recovery area.
  • Apply pressure. Both during and after surgery, you might wear elastic compression stockings or inflatable air sleeves on your lower legs. The air sleeves squeeze and release your legs. That helps keep blood from pooling in the leg veins, reducing the chance that clots will form.
  • Take blood thinners. Your surgeon might prescribe an injected or oral blood thinner after surgery. Depending on how soon you walk, how active you are and your overall risk of blood clots, you might need blood thinners for several weeks after surgery.

You’ll also likely be asked to do frequent breathing exercises and gradually increase your activity level. A physical therapist can show you how to exercise your new knee. After you leave the hospital, you’ll likely continue physical therapy either at home or in a clinic.

For most people, knee replacement provides pain relief, improved mobility and an overall better quality of life. Most knee replacements can be expected to last at least 15 to 20 years.

After recovery, you can engage in various low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, golfing or biking. But you should avoid higher-impact activities, such as jogging, and sports that involve contact or jumping. Talk to your health care team about ways to stay active after knee replacement.

Do You Need an Orthopedic Specialist?

This short online assessment will guide you on next steps for your knee or hip pain. Find out if it’s time to talk to one of our orthopedic specialists.

Take Our Hip and Knee Assessment

Care That’s Focused on You

  • Minimally invasive procedures can have you home quickly with less pain and faster recovery.
  • Sophisticated pain management aims to keep you comfortable and safe.
  • We have a deep commitment to getting you moving again and managing your pain so you can keep up with your physical therapy.
  • With 30 orthopedic locations in Louisville, Southern Indiana and surrounding communities, we have specialists near you.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more, anytime, from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

Why Choose Norton Orthopedic Institute

More patients choose Norton Orthopedic Institute for hip or knee replacements and other orthopedic procedures than any other health care provider in Louisville or Southern Indiana.

  • About 50 providers, including board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, offer care at twelve locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
  • U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-2024 Best Hospitals listings rated Norton Healthcare’s adult-service hospitals in Louisville as high performing in hip replacement and knee replacement.
  • Same-day appointments often are available.
  • Norton Healthcare is the first health system in the nation to be recognized as an Advanced Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence by DNV.
  • Our hip replacement specialists are pioneers in minimally invasive surgeries focused on minimizing pain and recovery time.
  • Robotic-assisted surgical techniques improve precision for a more natural-feeling knee replacement to get you moving again.
  • Educational programs help patients prepare for joint replacement surgery and recovery.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Your free Norton MyChart account allows you to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, get alerted if an earlier appointment becomes available, refill prescriptions and more from a mobile device or computer.

Choose Norton Orthopedic Institute for Your Hip or Knee Replacement

  • Same-day appointments are available with no referral required. When you’re ready to take care of the pain, you want to get started.
  • Schedule your appointments online or call (502) 559-5500.
  • Our fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeons have the experience you can trust. They perform more than 800 hip replacements and 1,000 knee replacements every year.
  • Robotic-assisted surgeries provide added precision when placing your new joint. This gives a more natural feel that more closely matches your unique anatomy. Minimally invasive techniques get you started on your recovery faster and often allow you to go home the same day as your surgery.
  • Choose from 30 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana for follow-up care.
  • Norton Healthcare is the first health system in the nation to be recognized as an Advanced Orthopedic & Spine Center of Excellence by DNV.
  • We help you get ready for surgery and through your recovery with educational programs available online and in person.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Your free Norton MyChart account allows you to communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more from a mobile device or computer.

Related Stories

How a total knee replacement got her back in the dance line
Rediscovering the joy of running after knee surgery
WWE superstar Al Snow chooses rare double knee replacement to relieve pain
Computer-guided knee replacement surgery isn’t science fiction, it’s fact

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.