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Knee Replacement

Knee problems such as osteoarthritis (also called degenerative arthritis), rheumatoid arthritis and past injury can cause the bone and cartilage in the joint to wear away. This wear and tear can cause knee pain.

If nonsurgical treatment has failed, knee replacement surgery may be an option. During a knee replacement, the surgeon removes worn-out pieces of bone and cartilage and replaces them with metal and plastic. The main goal of this procedure is to reduce knee pain; it may also improve function and reduce or eliminate a limp.

When it comes to knee replacement, the experience of your surgeon can make a difference in how well you do after the procedure. Joint replacement surgeons at Rush are among the most experienced in the U.S., performing more than 2,400 knee replacements each year. And they have pioneered ways to perform the surgery that minimize patients' pain after surgery and enable them to leave the hospital shortly after the procedure.

Do I need a knee replacement?

Not everyone with knee pain needs a knee replacement. But if your pain prevents you from doing everyday tasks or walking independently, knee replacement may be an option.

You could be a good candidate if the following statements are true:

  • You have tried medication and other non-operative treatments, and they have not helped.
  • Your knee pain interferes with your ability to function on a daily basis.
  • Your primary care doctor or an orthopedic surgeon has told you that you have arthritis of your knee.

Types of knee replacement

Orthopedic surgeons at Rush perform the following types of knee replacement surgery:

  • Total or "full" knee replacement.
  • Partial knee replacement, in which surgeons replace only part of the damaged knee.
  • Repeat (or revision) knee replacement for past knee replacements that fail.

Your surgeon will talk with you about all the options available and decide which is best for you. 

Why choose Rush for knee replacement

  • National recognition in orthopedics. The orthopedics program at Rush is consistently ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report and No. 1 in Illinois.
  • Expertise you can trust. Because orthopedic surgeons at Rush have the experience and expertise to handle even the most challenging cases, Rush serves as a referral center for patients from around the world who need complex repeat or revision joint replacement surgeries.
  • Team approach. The team of physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists and other experts at Rush can help you recover from your procedure and put you back on the path toward an active life.
  • One-stop orthopedic care. The Orthopedic Building offers one convenient place to go for orthopedic care. You can see an orthopedic specialist, get your imaging tests, have outpatient procedures, and go through rehabilitation — all under one roof.