Using this guide What's covered

Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about knee replacement. Learn how the surgery works, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.

To see how the surgery is done, view our procedure animation below. For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, surgery and recovery.

Cost indicator

Discover the typical out-pocket costs HCF members can expect to pay for knee replacement, and learn how your choice of doctor and hospital affect that cost. 


See costs

Learn about knee replacement

This videos shows the anatomy of the knee, the components of a prosthesis and how they fit together. 

The basics


Knee replacement is a standard procedure for osteoarthritis of the knee that hasn't responded to non-surgical measures. 

Over 50,000 knee replacements are performed in Australia every year. Internationally, 80–90% of patients are satisfied with the result. After recovery, most patients have better mobility and function as well as good relief from pain.

Signs you may need a new knee

Knee replacement is normally recommended after other treatments have been tried. Your doctor may recommend knee replacement because your:

  • pain isn't controlled by medication
  • pain limits your activities
  • pain disturbs your sleep
  • knee has become unstable

The details

Considering surgery

Treatments to consider before opting for surgery

Non-surgical options that may delay the need for knee replacement.
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Results vs risks of surgery

The benefits and potential complications of knee replacement.
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Choosing a specialist

How to find a surgeon who specialises in your procedure.
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Questions for your surgeon and anaesthetist

What you should be asking before going ahead with surgery. 
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Preparing for your procedure

Pre-operative tests and planning ahead for your recovery.
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Your anaesthestic options

The types of anaesthetic you may be offered.
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Your surgery

Going to hospital

What to expect on the day of your procedure.
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Knee replacement prostheses

The different types of knee prosthesis and how they work.
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Your procedure

What happens in the operating theatre.
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Recovery and aftercare

After surgery

What to expect during your hospital stay and when you get home.
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Exercise and monitoring

Explore your rehab options to decide what's right for you.
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Caring for your knee

Practical advice on living with your new knee.
Learn more

Patient experiences

HCF members who've had knee replacement surgery talk about their preparation, hospital stay and recovery. 
View videos

Living with osteoarthritis

A large number of knee replacements are due to osteoarthritis. These short videos provide personal insights into managing the condition. 
View videos

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Important Information

Information is provided by HCF in good faith for the convenience of members. It is not an endorsement or recommendation of any form of treatment nor is it a substitute for medical advice, and you should rely on the advice of your treating doctors in relation to all matters concerning your health. Every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however HCF takes no responsibility for any injury, loss, damage or other consequences of the use of this information.