What Is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Northwestern Medicine offers replacement surgery for a broad range of knee problems, including:
- Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Ligament injuries and tears
- Sports and work-related injuries
Knee replacement, also called arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to resurface a knee damaged by arthritis. In knee replacement surgery, the weight-bearing surfaces of your knee joint are replaced with prosthetic joint hardware. During knee replacement surgery you can expect the following:
- The heads of both the thighbone (femur) and the leg bone (tibia) are removed
- Both ends of the bones are reshaped to accept metal fittings
- The new fittings are put in place, and a small plastic liner is inserted between the metal pieces to keep the joint moving smoothly
- A kneecap liner is put into place to prevent any friction on the new joint
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to resurface the parts of the knee joint that have been damaged and to relieve knee pain that cannot be controlled by other treatments.
Mako™ Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery
Mako technology can be used for partial knee replacement, which is a procedure designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. By selectively targeting the part of your knee damaged by osteoarthritis, your surgeon can replace the diseased part of your knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding it. Learn more about Mako technology and how it works.
Meet the Teams
- Central DuPage Hospital and Delnor Hospital Knee Replacement Guide (English | Spanish)
- Kishwaukee Hospital and Valley West Hospital Knee Replacement Guide
Joint Health Risk Assessment
Want to know where your joints stand? Take our Joint Health Risk Assessment now.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
- American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
- American College of Rheumatology
- Arthritis Foundation
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- National Library of Medicine
- The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine