Benefits and Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery

Total knee replacement can increase mobility and decrease pain in people who have an injured or arthritic knee joint. More than 90 percent of patients who have knee replacement surgery experience less pain and greater mobility in their knee after the procedure.

Risks associated with total knee replacement depend in part on the age and overall health of the patient. People with serious heart or lung problems usually are not good candidates for knee replacement surgery. Chronic health conditions (e.g., diabetes) can increase the risk for complications.

Complications from knee replacement surgery, such as infection or blood clots, can interfere with recovery. In general, fewer than 2 percent of total knee replacement surgeries result in serious complications.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 11 Jan 2010

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015