Michigan Knee Institute


Clinical research has shown a total knee replacement has a 98% survivorship and can last 20-25 years. The life of a total knee replacement largely depends on the patient’s age, weight, activity level and overall health. A knee replacement is a device that is subject to wear and tear?

In most cases patients are able go home directly from the hospital, occasionally patients require additional help following surgery and may go to a nursing home or an inpatient rehabilitation center for 3-7 days following surgery. The Doctor and hospital staff will assist you will arrangements if needed.

You may drive your car once you have full control of your surgical leg. If you had surgery on your left leg and drive an automatic transmission car you may be able to drive as early as 2 weeks following surgery if you are not taking pain medications. If a knee replacement was performed on the right knee and/or you drive a manual transmission you may be able to drive at 4 to 6 weeks.

Here is check list for your initial consultation:

  • Driver’s license or a valid ID
  • Insurance information
  • Referral letter (if required)
  • Reports, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc. and any other relevant information
  • List of medications (if any)

We encourage you to come to your initial consultation with a written list of questions to ensure you don’t forget to ask them when you visit the doctor.

Your returning to work greatly depends on what type of work you do. Sit down jobs or office jobs you may be able to return as early between 4-6 weeks depending on your recovery. For jobs that require a lot of standing, you may be able to return between 8-12 weeks. A job requiring heavy labor you are unable to return for at least 1-2 weeks

Returning home directly from the hospital may require assistance with house cleaning, meal preparation, etc., depending on the progress you made in the hospital.

Following a total knee replacement patients do not require at-home physical therapy but require outpatient physical therapy 2-3 times a week for at least 4 weeks.

You will be walking the day following your surgery with the use of a cane or walker. You will walk with either a cane or walker for 2 – 6 weeks depending on your recovery.

The physical therapy department at the hospital will have you climbing stairs before you are discharged from the hospital. The speed at which you climb the stairs depends on your progress.

Most patients do not require a blood transfusion following knee replacement. Occasionally a blood transfusion is required and you may donate your own blood.

We recommend 2 weeks of physical therapy prior to your knee replacement to strengthen your surrounding muscles.

Replacements done utilizing a minimally invasive technique usually is performed through a 3-5 inch incision.

Your surgeon will determine if you are a candidate for total knee replacement through an x-ray and physical examination. It is your decision to schedule surgery based on your discomfort, pain, loss of quality of life.

A patient’s age is not the general concern when considering total knee replacement. Your primary care physician usually determines your ability to undergo a total knee replacement.

The risks involved with knee replacement are uncommon but can occur include but not limited to injuries to the nerves and blood vessels, loss of motion to the knee, stiffness to the knee, pulmonary embolism, thrombophlebitis, and failure of the prosthesis, fracture, patellar tendon rupture, and possible need for future surgery.

Knee replacements can fail commonly due to loosening of the prosthesis from the bone and wearing of one or more of the components. If this were to occur, revision surgery can be performed to correct most reasons for failure.

Knee replacements can fail commonly due to loosening of the prosthesis from the bone and wearing of one or more of the components. If this were to occur, revision surgery can be performed to correct most reasons for failure.


The clicking or clunking some experience following a knee replacement is the artificial surfaces coming together.

You may experience some numbness on the outside of your knee, this occurs when making the incision damaging nerves. This usually goes away with time.

Please discontinue the use of Aspirin or any product containing aspirin 10 days prior to surgery. This includes Plavix, Mobic, Celebrex, Motrin (Ibuprofen), Advil, Aleve, Vitamin E, Gingko Biloba, and Multivitamins. You may take Tylenol based products.

Your time in the operating room varies between 45 – 90 minutes followed by time in the recovery room.