After your anaesthetic has been administered you’ll either be unconscious (general anaesthetic) or very drowsy (regional anaesthetic with IV sedation).
A tourniquet is applied to your thigh and your leg is painted with antiseptic. Your body is covered with sterile drapes, leaving your knee exposed. A urinary catheter may be put in place.
A vertical incision is made on the front of your knee to allow access to the joint. The damaged parts of your knee are removed and the bones are shaped to fit the knee prosthesis. If your knee has been deformed by arthritis, this will also be addressed. The prosthesis is put in place and cemented or screwed into the bones. The patella may then be resurfaced, if necessary.
Before finishing the surgery, your knee is checked for stability, alignment and mobility. Often, a small drain will be put in the knee to remove fluid from the knee. The wound is closed using dissolving stitches or staples, the knee is then dressed with a sterile bandage.
You’re then taken to the recovery room where your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse and breathing) are monitored to ensure they’re stable. Once you are awake and alert, you’ll be transferred to the ward.