Knee Replacement Surgery Overview


Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) is a leading provider of partial and total knee replacement surgery services. Using the latest medical advances in joint repair and replacement, our orthopaedic surgeons provide advanced care to reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve quality of life.

Orthopaedic surgeons at BWH also provide a broad range of orthopaedic surgery options that include hip replacement surgery, rotator cuff surgery, and surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Knee replacement surgery at BWH.

Physicians in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at BWH offer several types of knee replacement surgery:

  • Partial knee replacement surgery replaces damaged portions of the knee but leaves other healthy areas intact.
  • Total knee replacement surgery replaces bone and cartilage from all section of the knee, including the medial, lateral and patellofemoral (kneecap).
  • Minimally invasive knee replacement surgery may be used for total or partial knee replacement in certain patients. This approach involves smaller incisions, less trauma and tissue damage, which results in less blood loss and pain. Minimally invasive surgery tends to result in quicker recovery and rehabilitation.

Who needs knee replacement surgery?

Because the knee bears a lot of weight, it is particularly susceptible to the effects of diseases such as osteoarthritis, which wears down cartilage, and to rheumatoid arthritis, which creates inflammation in the tissue of the knee that can destroy cartilage and bone. As the knee joint deteriorates, patients may experience pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced mobility. Doctors will typically recommend knee replacement surgery after trying alternative medical techniques and after weighing considerations such as age, weight and goals for quality of life.

Recovering from knee replacement surgery

After surgery, which typically takes two to three hours, patients will usually remain in the hospital for two to three. It may take several months in order to recover full strength, mobility and range of motion. The speed and quality of recovery may be improved with regular exercise, careful use of the knee, and with use of an ice pack to reduce swelling.

Find a doctor for knee replacement surgery

To make an appointment for consultation with a knee replacement surgeon, please call 1-800-294-9999 or use the online appointment request form.

You may also use the Find a Doctor tool on the BWH website to search for doctors by name, specialty, and location to find, for example, a Boston knee surgeon, a Boston foot doctor, or a Boston hand surgery specialist.

Learn more about Knee Replacement Surgery and other Orthopaedic Treatments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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