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 eduation booklet, Total Knee Replacement Surgery. This education booklet provides detailed information to help you prepare for your surgery and recover afterwards. 

Hip and Knee Surgery Survey

Along your total joint replacement journey, you will be asked to complete two surveys. The hospital is required by the Ministry of Health to collect this information from their patients undergoing total joint replacement surgeries. 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.

Make sure to speak to your care team about the SeamlessMD© platform and get enrolled. SeamlessMD© is an interactive step-by-step platform to help you prepare for your procedure and recover faster afterwards. You and/or a caregiver can access the platform/app on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Receive automated reminders, to-do lists, daily health checks, and access to self-care information before and after surgery.

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

Once you have completed this education, please contact the Rehabilitation Therapy department at (519) 464-4400 ext. 8100 to get enrolled in the SeamlessMD© platform and to indicate where you would like to receive physiotherapy. For those who choose to return to Bluewater Health for physiotherapy in Sarnia or Petrolia, 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:

  • 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

In-Patient and Out-Patient Total Joint Replacement Surgery

  • If your surgery is planned as an overnight stay, your discharge day is typically the next day following surgery for most patients. Some higher-risk patients may require a longer stay. Your length of time in the hospital will depend on several factors, including the type of joint replacement you have and your overall health. Generally, most people do best when they can recover in their own home
  • Out-patient total joint replacement surgery has also recently been made available at Bluewater Health. If your total joint replacement is an outpatient surgery (you are not staying overnight) you are expected to go home the same day. Your surgeon will discuss this with you and provide you the information you require to discharge safely.

Recovery – What to Expect

  • Bluewater Health staff will get you up and walking the evening of your surgery.
  • Physiotherapy and occupational therapy will see you daily while in hospital (only if you are required to stay overnight).
  • 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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