Total Knee Replacement Surgery Video

This series, presented by Doctor Kirby Turnage is a three part video series that will guide you through total knee replacement. Part 1 is the introduction. Part 2 is the actual surgery. Part 3 will discuss what happens after the surgery.

Part 1 – Introduction

In this first video, Doctor Kirby explains what knee replacement surgery is as well as some alternative treatments to consider like steroid injections and visco-supplementation. If these treatments are successful at reducing pain, surgery can be avoided or at least delayed somewhat. He also discusses some of the possible complications associated with knee surgery, like infection, DVT and scarring for instance.

Part 2 – Knee Replacement Surgery

This section of the video presents the highlights from an actual surgical procedure. You will be taken into the operating room and will watch footage of an actual knee replacement surgery. You will see all stages of the procedure from the incision,  to bone preparation,  to installation of the actual knee replacement implants. This video, although graphic, does provide an excellent overview of the procedure and can help you decide whether or not this type of surgery is right for you.

Part 3 – Post Operative Issues

Part 3 of this video series discusses possible post operative issues following total knee replacement. How long will your hospital stay be? What happens when you come home from the hospital? Will you experience a lot of pain? How will you manage your pain? What about physical therapy? Are there things I should be looking out for?



43 Responses to “Total Knee Replacement Surgery Video”

  1. Michael Evan on September 22nd, 2010 8:44 am

    As a life long surgical student this is really great resource to learn from. Thanks for providing not just information but videos as well!

  2. Brenda on February 21st, 2011 9:20 pm

    I wish that I had seen these video’s before I had my totoal knee Surgery. I had my surgery in July. My knee is so heavy and tight. I feel like I am going nuts. First the doctor says 6 months now its 6 months to a year. I seem to be gettting worse instead of better. It feels like a vice grip around my knee and leg. Could somebody out there give me some advice to where I can get this checked out. I am desperate.

  3. neil matthews on March 30th, 2011 8:41 pm

    I too had this op. but mine was on January 7th 2011 I too am this type of prob. I cant straighten my leg and on long distances I still need to use crutches and cant drive.They have given m physio and hydro pool use to no effect.The only possibilty I now have is manipulation, which Im not looking forward to and dont know whether to have it done or not.I feel very low and miserable,its also is having a knock on effect of my partner.

  4. Seth on July 15th, 2011 11:34 pm

    The only reason I searched this is because I volunteer at a hospital and this is one of the surgeries I’ve seen, but I missed some parts because the mask was making me gag (because I couldn’t get fresh air)

  5. Diana on October 13th, 2011 12:47 am

    I have a total knee replacement on both legs–right July, 2009 and left June, 2011. In between these surgeries I had four back surgeries–the last one being done in February,2011 in which I had a total discectomy with a cage put in and a fusion. The first knee replacement recovery period was slow partially because I didn’t have a good home therapist and didn’t know what was okay to do until I went to outpatient physical therapy. When my Dr. told me I could push it as far as I could stand–it was only a matter of days before I was up and outside. Now with my second knee, I was walking with only a cane the first day I was home around the house. I had an excellent home therapist and I was released and on my own two weeks later. Don’t get me wrong–if I don’t keep my knees in motion, they get very stiff and heavy and painful, but as long as I take care of them they allow me to live a realitively active style. You’ll only get out of them what you put in–they won’t bend,straighten, etc. on their own. They will never forevermore be pain-free, but they have been the right choice for this 46 and now 49 year old.

  6. Major Gen (Retd) W.S.Chona on December 31st, 2011 6:36 am

    I am slated for left total knee replacement on 26 March 2012. I have seen the informative video. A relative of mine under went both knees TKA on 16 Aug 2011 and was bed ridden for 3 months with pain and discomfort. I know of another retired Army Officer who underwent TKA and was on the Golf course ater 8 weeks.
    With my pain, I walk about 5 KMS in 40 minutes and play 9 holes of golf 4 times a week.
    My knee pains when I sit and get up.
    With the above, please write if I need to undergo the TKA. I am 74 years old.
    Will appreciate your response.
    Thanks and bye.

  7. Richard A Schultz on January 5th, 2012 3:12 am

    At 46 I had total hip replacements both L and right. I will be 53 on Feb 28, 2012. I have, after knee scopes, stage 4 cartlige degeneration in both left and right knees.. The PA gave me Cortazone shots in both knees and need to know if I can avoide surgery? Thanks in advance.

  8. Chris on February 22nd, 2012 2:57 pm

    I had both knees replaced, which left me with one paralyzed leg from the knee to the toes, termed as sciatica nerve damage – any comments as to how this could have happened would be appreciated & welcome.

  9. dave morgan on March 7th, 2012 10:05 pm

    I had my right knee replaced Monday a week ago, February 27, 2011, by Dr Jeana Lee in Evansville, of the great Hoosier State…I have some pain now, mostly after sleeping a while too long between ice packs…The pain is mostly telling me to put on some ice!..20 minutes on, then off at least 20 minutes…Thats all I got to do right now, and am taking care of home therapy by myself…Its not a big thing here as I have been thru two rotor cuff surgerys and with their lengthy home and office therapy…My advice, be sure you have a good surgeon, this is not something to leave to a squirrel Dr getting experience with what amounts to the rest of your life…We have to have decent knees to be of any service to our family and neighbors…At 65 years of age pain is no stranger here, but I can tell the knee part of the operation is not where what pain I have is coming from, its coming from the lower part of the leg that has to be pulled apart to work with…I feel better with each passing day and expect full recovery.

    I mentioned above about picking your surgeon from people-Drs recomendations, fortunately for me I have two within sight of my home and pay attention to what they have learned and willing to share with me…Now, taking that all in, we had a patient in recovery therapy who discovered the Dr? put his parts in backwards…I realize there is more than one person involved in the process, and one of my Dr neighbors told me the person who sells-peddles the parts is right at the Dr’s side, it is hard to understand how the operation could be totally botched to having the parts in backwards…So if you have any idea of the surgery not being performed as it should, get other Dr’s opinions STAT…There is a lot of things that have to go together properly for all to work as it should 2 days after surgery. is open to email if any more questions.

  10. Brenda on March 8th, 2012 2:58 am

    I was told that the doctor that did mine was the best. That is not my opinion. I am in my 20th month and it seems to be getting worse instead of better. Can’t sleep and getting where I can’t walk good. I went for a second opinion but the dr. was in the same net work of the dr that did it. I am hunting a 3rd opinion. I can bend my knee but its what is going on inside of the knee and leg that is killing me and driving me crazy. I need help so bad.

  11. pete wakelam on April 12th, 2012 2:05 pm

    having my tkr done on june 10 in chichester uk was worried about the op but now feel all at rest having seen the procedure ,many thanks for the professional service i have just wittnessed.

  12. Mary on April 22nd, 2012 2:31 pm

    My Mom is going to have total knee replacement Tuesday of this month. She said something about rods. How, do these rods go on the outside of her leg or are they going to be placed inside of the leg? What do these rods do?
    I just loved your video it helped me in what my mom will go through. I ask many question to my mom and she said that the Doctors knows what they are doing. I decided to check out the total knee replacement myself and let her know what will go on.
    Thanks again.

    Mary :O)

  13. Total Hip Replacement Surgery on July 13th, 2012 6:09 am

    I like your videos about treatments . These videos looking so effective for patients.

  14. raunee on August 23rd, 2012 9:53 pm

    I had a TKR Feb. 2012. It is a good thing I did not watch this video before my surgery…. I watched a short animated video…I’m now a little over 6 months since surgery. For the most part I feel I’m doing good. I do wake up very stiff in the mornings. I continue to have a little popping and swelling. The tight band feeling is finally gone.

    Just wondering if my knee will every be “totally pain free”. Does anyone know someone who has had the surgery and is now 100% without pain??? First the Dr. says give it 6 weeks, then give it 12 weeks, then 6 months, and finally they say give it a year….My pain is 95% better than before the surgery.

  15. Marion on October 4th, 2012 2:45 am

    At the age of 17yrs old, I had a tibia-fibula fracture and had screws inserted. Was left with only 80 degrees of bending and -10 extension. This past March’ 2012, I had a distill femur fracture with rod inserted. Was left now with only 65 degrees of bending. I totally need a TKR. Will I be left with 65 degrees or will I lose more? I am now 55yrs old. I really don’t know what to do!!!

  16. Becky Sef on October 30th, 2012 12:56 am

    I had a total knee in April 2012 and now its almosg November, cant bend my knee half way, feels to big and tight and i am in extreme pain, have rsd disease from the surgery and i am only 52 and my life is ruined forever. Becky

  17. ROBELI LIBERO on November 18th, 2012 4:08 pm


  18. Renee D on February 2nd, 2013 4:01 am

    Thank you for providing this very informative series! Very well done. I am GLAD I will be asleep. :)

  19. Sunset C. on February 9th, 2013 2:56 pm

    After 2 ACL surgeries and 2 “scopes”, I opted to have total knee replacement on Jan 7, 2013 along with some patella tendon repairs. My doctor (Dr. Mathew Kauffman) had me up and walking the same day of surgery and also started rehab during my hospital stay. I was also put into a CPM (knee motion machine) for 3 – two hour sessions per day both in the hospital and for 21 days after leaving the hospital. Due to the patella tendon repair, I also had to wear a leg brace for this past 5 weeks to give the tendon time to heal. I started physical therapy 4 days after release from the hospital and did my exercises faithfully everyday. Yes, it was hard and painful but it is now paying off. I am without pain while at rest and walking slowly. I am now at 3 degree extension and 100 degree flexiation. I am continuing my exercises and should get all of my knee functions back. I am glad that I had it done.

  20. Mike Porter on August 20th, 2013 12:00 pm

    Many thanks. Just got my date for my op. This has really helped.

  21. Linda on August 23rd, 2013 7:28 am

    Thank you for the making of these videos. It is a very personal decision to make concerning having a knee replacement done, but I highly suggest anyone who it is suggested for do so before they end up in the position that I have where my surgery has to be done by a specialist orthopedic due to the damage and deformation that occurred from years of doctors not willing to do the surgery due to my age. I am preparing in less than 2 weeks for a double knee replacement surgery to be done simultaneous because I want my recovery time to be shorter and I want both done to eliminate any further damage. I will be 50 in 3 months. I have been told for nearly 15+ yrs I had to wait til I was 60. Thank goodness for today’s technology! .

  22. Sunset C on August 24th, 2013 5:09 pm

    I am now in my 7th month of recovery from total knee replacement (operating date: Jan 7, 2013) and I am doing extremely well. I followed the physical therapy protocol and did all my exercises at home every day sometimes twice a day. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO DO THE EXERCISES. I have witnessed people who did not do the exercises at PT office and they were in a hurt locker! I am now playing golf and walking the course for additional strengthening.
    I have 0 degree extension and 122 degree flexation without any pain. See my comment above. I am very glad I had this done. I am 63.

  23. Renee on August 29th, 2013 11:40 pm

    Good luck, Linda. I had my TKA done back in March, and I LOVE my new knee! I was back to work in a month (but hobbling)….but didnt feel REAL good till 2 months post op. My biggest problem was swelling; I had to resort to an above Knee Support stocking to finally get that swelling worked out. I am 50 too.

  24. DeWayne Duskin on October 24th, 2013 2:23 am

    All three are excellent. Had Total Knee Replacement Surgery Aug 19 @ 66 yrs of age in Holland, MI by Dr. Derrick Johnson. Have reached 120 degree goal.

    The only current concern I have is, during the first 30 days, I had far less pain than the last 30 days. Perhaps it due in part to the medication, but hamstring muscle and back of the leg muscle is very sore. When laying down, it’s hard to find a position were the leg does have cramps. At times I’m dealing with more stiffness in the bend in the morning than after surgery. Is this something normal, or is their something we can do to help this matter.

    We did deal with old scar tissue from an old cartlidge removal in 1973.

    After a 4 day hospital stay, I spent 10 days in a special care facility to begin rehab. and got to 73 degree mobility. In 1 week at my local physical recovery we got up to 93, then 117 and 120 in two weeks.

    Any comment will be helpful.

  25. Robert on October 29th, 2013 5:59 pm

    My goodness, I have never heard of problems like these. I had a TKR when I was 75 and had no problems at all, am 83 now and am looking forward to having the other knee done in a month. Sorry to hear of the problems told in this thread.

  26. Diana Marsh on November 8th, 2013 2:52 pm

    I had both knees replaced in 2012, 2.5 weks apart, and have done very well. No pain, just some stiffness once in a while.
    One problem I did have which might be well mentioning is the lower back/hip pain which I had after surgery for a good 2 months The pain was worse than the knee pain! I had to have 3 epideral injections for the pain and went toa chiroprator as well. It would seem that limping for 5 years prior to surgery substantially changed my gait and having my knees replaced changed my musculoskeletal configuration again. It took exercise and treatment and pain meds for this period, and the last insult was getting off pain meds which caused a withdrawal!! (Mind you, took pain meds over 2 months so be careful) . I am now out of pain and active!! I did have one question…what muscle or ligament is cut during surgery? Is it the ALL?

  27. Primrose Finlay on November 10th, 2013 2:58 pm

    Thank You for the three educational videos. It hasput my mind at ease and Iam not nearly so nervous about going through the operation ina few days time. Thanks again.

  28. Cam Watson on February 5th, 2014 12:24 pm

    I had a TKR in 2011 at 53 yrs old, my knee had previously had a ACL reconstruction that eventually wore out, several meniscus surgeries, osteo arthritis bone removals etc, following TKR surgery the next morning i walked around the hospital with a cane, started exercises the day after surgery. Yes, it was painful, BUT take your meds as prescribed to reduce pain , which will aid in your ability to do the exercises. I started Physiotherapy 10 days post-op and went every day for 2 hrs a day, 5 days a week. I kept the physio up for 12 weeks, after 2 weeks of physio, i started going to the gymn evry afternoon following my physio, on the eliptical trainer, lunges with weights, single leg half squats with weights, lots of single leg balance drills etc, after 3 months i was back at work with a little swelling and some minor stiffness, but kept up going to the Gym. One year to the day following surgery I skied again and have been able to ski at a very very high level and am continuing coaching ski racing and skiing on weekends. I have NO PAIN mostly because of the work i put in to gain strength and flexibility, and not to be understated, your Dr is the key to success. My Dr, was Jeffrey Gollish at the Holland orthopaedic and arthritic center, Toronto Ontario Canada, he has had a knee replacement done on himself and is a very active sports person…. Get the right Dr, and you will be successful, IT has changed my life forever.

  29. Kathy McLay on February 9th, 2014 4:44 am

    I am due to have the surgery before summer…I have been off work for 9 months so the pain at this point is manageable, however only being 50 years old I need to go back to work. I know once returning back to work the extreme pain will return, and there will be times that I will not be able to walk and night I will not be able to sleep due to the pain, so I need to have the surgery in order to have better quality of life. From what I am understanding her post op is every bit as important as the actually surgery is..It seems that patients are having much better luck with get as much mobility back in the knee and the quicker the better….It this the key???

  30. robinder on February 24th, 2014 2:37 pm

    underwent tkr on 24dec2013.64 yrs old. pains in knees started in year 2002.tried all sorts of pain killings ,message and exercises, but
    of no relief.operation was scarry.some how gathered courage and underwent tkr;was on my feet after 24 hrs.regular exercise at home through physio has given a relief. some stiffness in right knrr is stii\l there.but able to do my job which I was not able to do before surgery. the knee pains while getting up and sitting down.the right knee is little stiff this is because I delayed the surgery.the true results of surgery will be felt after 12 weeks.

  31. Margaret Gattuso on March 10th, 2014 4:01 am

    My husband is scared to have it done. But in advance he was a surgical tech
    but he is afraid because he doesn’t know if we will get nursing for our son that is on life support and he doesn’t know if the state will help care for our son with me. However I to is sick I have what my son has and it stinks. It’s really rare disease and just don’t know what is going to happen next.

  32. alam jan dario on April 11th, 2014 7:02 pm

    I am going to do my kbee replacment in is vary complacaited right now.
    Some questions.
    I hav joint problum in my knees and arm too.if i will do knees replacment.iit recover my arm swills and pain.or i will have to do all replacment?
    Other what els usfull iformation if some one can give.or any other treatment options?

  33. Rees on April 12th, 2014 10:27 pm

    I had both knees done (one week apart) in Dec 2013. I was in hospital 10 days, rehab 8 days. In my opinion there are 2 keys to TKR. Be strong going in. If you know it will be done, start doing squats and lunges now, the stronger your thigh muscles are going in the better you will do. The second is the physical therapy. Do it, do it, do it. At 6 weeks out from your surgery, that is the range of motion and other movement you will have. No more. The surgery pain is nothing, the physical therapy pain is what will hurt. But if you don’t do the PT you will never get the relief you are looking for.

  34. Mary Russell on May 18th, 2014 5:37 pm

    I have had both knee replace.My first one was 2003,second was in 2007.frst one was scary cause I didn’t know much about plus cuts were bigger so it was a little more painful than the second one.Second one was done in 2007. I was walking few hours after surgery with a walker. By the evening I was walking with a cane.Second day,they had me doing stairs up and down did great on it.The thing to remember is follow up on your therapy .Do what they tell you and you will heal faster.I was back to work 5 wks after my second surgery pushing people up and down jetway, at the airport,which some are very steeps.I have done alot of 5k walks since the surgery and I am loving my knees.Keep active,move around and it will help alot.

  35. Sam Torrisi on June 16th, 2014 4:12 am

    Had both of my knees done at same time (TKR) on the 29th Nov. 2010. I was 53 at the time and I was told I needed replacements at 42 years old. I was in agony just about everyday until the surgery was done, whilst I only stayed 4 nights in hospital the first week at home was a very testing time for my wife and I and the everyday things were virtually impossible to overcome. My wife and I flew overseas 6 months after my operation and I had a pain free holiday which was a magical experience for me. One thing I do say is that picking the right surgeon is an absolute must with Dr Peter Mckewen from Townsville doing mine. My wife actually sent him a post card from the Isle of Capri in Italy and told him that he gave me my quality of life back. I’ve always said he was a genius considering how quick I recovered. Anyone doing a TKR needs a little luck and plenty of determination!!!!

  36. Rosario Ortega on July 14th, 2014 4:53 am

    I twisted my knee on Mother’s Day. MRI results: The back ligament is torn and my cartilage is not in good shape because of my Osteoarthritis. Diagnosis: TKR.After looking at the videos and reading some of the above comments, I’m doubting. I can walk, no pain, of course I can not run or have long walks but I can have my normal life with some limitations. Please help me. I need an advise. Should I go
    for it? or just continue my life like now wearing a knee support? My surgery should be at the end of August. I’m 59 years old.

  37. Bob on July 15th, 2014 4:37 am

    I had left TKR at 72 years of age, had right TKR at 82 years of age. YEAH, it hurts like hell but it’s worth it because I have no pain now and prior to the surgeries I had no quality of life. If you are healthy other than the bad knee go for it, you wont be sorry.

  38. Phil Stewart on September 18th, 2014 7:22 pm

    I had a right leg TKR in January 2013 and it went without any problems. I had 16 rehabilitation sessions here in Newville, Pa and though painful at first, resulted in an uneventful recovery. Scheduled for a TKR on my left leg in October this year. Believe that positive results and successful recover is dependent on the skills of the staff and by doing all the at-home exercises prescribed by them. My surgeon and the rehab people were great and I expect this upcoming surgery to be a success also. No regrets. Changed my life.

  39. Ross Bartell on November 13th, 2014 2:24 am

    I had total right knee replacement surgery on Tuesday 9/30/14, on my 52nd birthday!! (first time I ever received a replacement body part for a birthday present!!!…). Surgery was at 2:30 PM, I walked that night with crutches. Wednesday morning I walked with crutches and then a cane around noon; I was discharged at 2:00 PM!! I started physical therapy on that Friday and continued three days a week for the next month. While physical therapy was demanding and sometimes / often painful, the more I put into it, the more I get out of it…. It’s been six weeks and I am basically pain-free with full mobility, extension and flexion. The credit obviously goes towards the surgical group and the physical therapist, and I feel lucky that I’ve come out of this surgery and now find myself in a much improved condition. Nothing glaring in my information above, just felt the need to share a decent success story with others.

  40. Miguel Blanco on January 5th, 2015 3:33 am

    Had surgery on 11/20/14. All went well except for the fact that they had me increase my blood thinner over the phone after a blood test. Ugh!! Went to PT and therapist asked me what was wrong w my knee? I replied nothing , to which he said , then why is there a trickle going down the front of your leg? Well needless to say they stopped the blood thinner right away but not before they decided to be safe and check for infection. Well there was no infection but they decided to reopen me again to scrb the area on December 5th. This was more painful than the initial surgery. Anyhow the lengthening of my recovery has not been very comfortable for me. My incision was now longer and wider than the initial one and I developed a rather large scab. Once again there was no infection but the healing process has been extended. The incision of course is healing from the inside out and I have developed a little bit of seepage and an unpleasant odor. Once again they say there is no infection and I should be fine. The area is not appealing to the eye and is rather ugly but I do believe it is getting better. If I ever have to go through this again I will not have a surgery done during the holidays because doctors are simply not as available. My insurance expired on December 31 and I am now a member of the VA. I have an appointment with my general practitioner here in Chula Vista on January 15th. My range of motion is about 120 degrees which is pretty good but I will keep you posted with my progress.

  41. Michelle Westermeyer on January 18th, 2015 11:19 pm

    I will be having TKR on Feb 23. My landlord is a Physical Therapist and he told me the doctor that was going to do my surgery is one of the best in town.

    My friend had both of her knees done and she has never felt better. These are surgeons who only work on sports Medicine. I was told there would be lots of pain for a few weeks after, but I can deal with that as I have permanent Nerve damage on my left leg from an accident to my back and will eventually have to have another surgery on my back.

  42. Linda Davis on February 21st, 2015 1:16 am

    I just had a TKR February 10,2015. The same knee (R) had much damage done to it preveously. Broken Patella x2, Compound fracture of femur/Patella. This caused me to have a plate and screws up outer aspect of femur. Also five screws across lower aspect of femur. As well as a plate and screw to replace the patella. Just prior to KR I had a surgery to remove some hardware from the femur(screws across lower part of femur) and screw and lower piece of plate. Preoperatively I did the excercises as recommended and changed meds as recommended (ASA regimen). had the surgery,The TED hose or stockings were very beneficial for clots not forming. then post-op did the recommended therapy as well as on my own. Ice packs and meds help with the swelling and aide in my movement. Bruising and soreness is very common. My incision was ‘glued”. healing is very nice. I am getting around very well with a walker. Dr. Banwar of Geneva N.Y. is an excellent Dr. and Surgeon.

  43. Theodore Martin on December 8th, 2015 8:15 am

    Just had TKR on left knee, November 9th, 2015. I had lived with pain for to long to put it off one more day, my knee joint decided it could no longer deal with all the “grind-age” and soft tissue waste, so it pushed it all out of the joint into a cyst type lump on the side of my exterior knee, it was the size of a half cut lime. It did not hurt but looked rather unsightly and was as hard as a golf ball. It has been four weeks and the nerves are still figuring out the hell just happened ! I was up and walking the same day and back home to familiar surrounding that afternoon. With two PT’s and weeks left to go l hope to be back to work and enjoying my daily routine. Will keep you posted.

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