Are You Put to Sleep for Knee Replacement?

Noyes Knee Institute Signature

Published On

Sep 21, 2023



Knee replacement surgery can look different for those who opt for a knee replacement. Factors like anesthesia, recovery time, candidacy, and results can differ from procedure to procedure. At Noyes Knee Institute, we deem ourselves some of the best knee replacement surgeons because of our expertise and track record. Here is what you should know about knee replacement surgery:

Do You Get Put to Sleep?

Yes, you get put to sleep when a knee replacement procedure is done. You and your surgeon can discuss which type of sedation best suits the type of knee replacement you’re choosing. The primary anesthesia options for knee replacement include general, regional, and local anesthesia with sedation. With general anesthesia, you can be completely unconscious and unaware of the surgery. This option may be recommended for patients with complex medical histories or those who prefer to be completely sedated during a procedure.

Regional anesthesia involves numbing a specific region of your body. A doctor may use a spinal block or epidural for knee replacement surgery. With regional anesthesia, you can remain awake but should not feel any pain in the lower half of your body. Sometimes, a surgeon may opt for local anesthesia combined with sedation. Local anesthesia numbs the surgical area, and sedation can help you remain relaxed and comfortable during the procedure.

What to Expect from the Procedure

Our surgeons prep for surgery by taking CT scans of your knee. They use this imaging to plan where to make cuts, remove the tissue or bone, and insert the knee replacement. Each knee surgery can be different because of the extent of the joint damage and the size and location of the implant. Once the surgeon determines the details of your procedure, you are given anesthesia, and surgery begins. The surgeon may use the assistance of advanced technology to identify and remove damaged bone or cartilage. This technology can also help them accurately position the metal or plastic replacement materials.

Full Knee Replacement vs. Partial Knee Replacement

Recovery, surgery, and other factors vary for a partial knee replacement versus a full knee replacement because of the surgery’s extent. Full knee replacement procedures involve replacing the entire knee joint with artificial components. It is typically recommended for patients with extensive joint damage or conditions that affect multiple areas of the knee. During a full knee replacement, the surgeon removes large portions of damaged bone and cartilage and replaces them with metal and plastic components.

In cases where the damage is confined to a specific compartment of the knee, a surgeon may suggest a partial knee replacement. This procedure is less invasive and involves removing and replacing only the damaged portion of the knee joint. These procedures can be thought of as a resurfacing of the knee. Surgeons replace the damaged tissues with plastic and metal and leave the surrounding healthy bone and tissue in place. Partial knee replacements often result in a quicker recovery and a more natural knee motion.

Benefits of a Knee Replacement

Enhanced precision, minimal tissue damage, and faster recovery times are some of the benefits of modern knee replacement surgeries. Advanced surgical technology systems can provide higher tissue removal accuracy and allow surgeons to create a more personalized surgical plan tailored to each patient’s anatomy. Knee replacement implants that are fitted correctly to the patient’s anatomy create a more comfortable post-surgery experience. They can also help create a more natural-feeling knee joint for patients. When implants are placed in the correct location, patients can experience smoother knee joint movement. This can increase the patient’s general mobility, allowing them to return to daily activities they may have avoided previously.

Who Is a Good Candidate? 

The ideal candidates for a knee replacement are individuals aged 30 to 60, although it can be considered for those both younger and older. These candidates typically show significant damage in one or multiple areas of the knee. If the damage is minimal, a partial knee replacement may delay the need for a full knee replacement. If other parts of your knee are already significantly damaged by arthritis or other conditions, you may need a full replacement.

Candidates whose knees hurt often, making it difficult to do daily activities like walking, may want to consider a knee replacement. If other avenues of treatment, like medication, physical therapy, or weight control, haven’t helped alleviate the pain, you could be a candidate for surgery. Request a consultation with a knee replacement specialist to review treatment options. This consultation can also help the specialist determine whether you are a good candidate for surgery.

Best Knee Replacement Surgeons Near You 

At Noyes Knee Institute, we can assist you before, during, and after recovery from a knee replacement surgery. Our surgeon can determine whether you’re a good candidate and which type of knee surgery is right for you. We can also explain the type of anesthesia needed for your procedure and answer any other questions. Contact us today to learn more about our knee replacement surgeries.