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Preparing for Total Knee Replacement (TKR)

​On this page, you will find information on how to prepare for your Total Knee Replacement Surgery (TKR).

The Knee

The knee joint is the largest joint in the body. A healthy joint has cartilage at the ends of the bones that acts as a cushion. It allows the joints to move smoothly and painlessly.


Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. When these cartilages begin to breakdown or damaged, the underlying bones begin to rub together resulting in narrowing of the joint space. Bone spurs (abnormal bone growths) are a common feature of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time.


Signs and symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty climbing up and down the stairs
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Unable to squat
  • Unable to walk long distance

Knee Replacement

Purpose: To relieve the painful symptoms and improve your quality of life.

This can be done by resurfacing partial (unicompartmental) or total replacement of the affected knee with implants (prosthesis) which encourage better function and mobility.

Before the Surgery

Refer to Preparation for Orthopaedic Surgery information >


During the Surgery

Duration of Surgery

Approximately: 1 - 3 hours.

Risks of Surgery

Complications will be explained to you by your surgeon before surgery. You will be required to sign an informed consent prior to surgery. The potential risks are:

  • Infection
  • Stiffness
  • Nerve and blood vessels injury
  • Periprosthetic fractures
  • Loosening and wear of prosthesis
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis

Duration of Hospital Stay

Average: 3-5 days

Care after Surgery

Refer to Preparation for Orthopaedic Surgery information >

Special Instructions Post Surgery

Continuous Passive Motion (CPM)

Use of CPM depends on your surgeon’s instructions. It allows knee flexion and extension and helps to limit excessive scar tissue adhesions that may hinder your recovery.

How to care for your knee after your Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy after your Total Knee Replacement Surgery