Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement is often considered when the pain in the knee becomes so severe that it begins to interfere with your sleep and your ability to carry out activities of daily living; such as walking, working or sports. The hope is that surgery will:

  • End or reduce your pain, 
  • Improve your knee movement and overall function, and 
  • Improve your quality of life.

Knee replacement involves removing the damaged bone from your knee joint and selecting and fitting your new joint according to your individual size. The damaged bone of the femur and tibia is cut away and replaced by metal components, one inserted on the end of the femur and the other on the top of the tibia. A plastic liner is inserted between the two metal components. The back of the patella may be resurfaced, and a plastic button may be attached to complete the new knee joint.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery Booklet 

What to Expect

You will receive a copy of the book, Total Knee Replacement Surgery. This book provides detailed information to help you prepare for your surgery. 

Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)

Along your joint replacement journey, you will be asked to complete two survey questionnaires, which are mandated by the Ministry of Health. The surveys should take between 5-10 minutes to complete. 

How to Prepare 

Along with reading the joint replacement education booklet, please also watch the pre-operative education video provided on this webpage for the joint replacement surgery you are having. The education booklet and video will go over how to prepare for surgery, what to expect while in hospital, and what to expect on discharge from the hospital.

In addition, please consider where you would like to attend physiotherapy following your joint replacement surgery.

Please contact the Rehabilitation Therapy Department at (519) 464-4400 ext. 8100 once you have completed this education with any questions that you might have and to indicate where you would like to receive physiotherapy. For those who choose to return to Bluewater Health for physiotherapy in Sarnia or Petroliam you will be provided an appointment date for therapy prior to or following your surgery.  

Some key things to consider in preparation for surgery include:

  • See your dentist to ensure that you do not have any dental infections.
  • Ask a family member or friend to be your “Coach”.
  • Exercise three to five times per week, and if needed, quit smoking, and practice healthy eating to prepare yourself for your best possible experience.
  • Check your house for any tripping hazards, like area rugs.
  • Organize delivery of any equipment you may need to help you get around the first few days.

During the Procedure

  • Arrive 2-3 hours before your procedure (the exact time will be outlined by your surgeons offices)
  • The standard surgery takes approximately 2 hours, and most patients are done in the recovery room and into their room on the surgical unit in 4-6 hours from time of surgery.

Recovery – What to Expect

  • Depending on the type of procedure and how you recover, you should expect to be in the hospital 2-3 days (not including the day of surgery).
  • Nursing staff will get you up and walking the evening of your surgery.
  • Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy will see you daily while in hospital.
  • Most patients continue with physiotherapy after discharge from the hospital 2-3 times per week for approximately 8-12 weeks on average.
  • Many patients will return to work and regular activities within 12 weeks.

Physiotherapy Providers

Click here for a list of equipment and physiotherapy providers in Sarnia-Lambton. If you reside outside Sarnia-Lambton, please visit to search for a provider near you. Click your local health region, or search by city or postal code. Under Health Topics, click Rehabilitative Care, then Physiotherapists.

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Bluewater Health’s programs and services are distributed across two locations, Bluewater Health in Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health in Petrolia. 

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Due to COVID-19, Bluewater Health currently has restrictions in place limiting family support and visiting in the hospital – but that doesn't mean you can't connect with your loved ones. Please let us know if you would like to schedule a 15-minute virtual visit with a loved one in hospital.

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