• Dan Kao

Four Leading Causes of Knee Replacement

Arthroplasty is another name for knee replacement surgery. This surgery is meant to replace a worn out, diseased, or a damaged knee. An artificial joint is used as a replacement to help reduce joint pain and help return the patient back to normal, daily living [1].

Adults ranging from 60 to 80 years old consider this surgery and require it when the pain becomes unbearable or it beings to interfere with daily life. Some patients may be eligible for a partial knee replacement, which may be performed on people between 55 and 64.

What are the leading causes of needing knee replacement surgery?

There are a few reasons a damaged knee is replaced. One of the most common reasons is osteoarthritis [2].


This is one of the types of arthritis where the cartilage gets worn out. This cartilage is present on the gliding surface of the knee and gets stiff as well. Due to the stiffness and damaged cartilage, pain occurs. Not just that, but the wear and tear of cartilage leads to tension between the bones. They rub against each other, leading to less mobility and increased chronic pain. People who are 50 or older are more susceptible.

Photo courtesy of Lynx Healthcare

Rheumatoid arthritis:

Another type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease [3]. Here, the synovial membrane is attacked by the body’s immune system, causing severe damage to the membrane. Articular cartilage also gets affected in return and this damages the membrane and cartilage leading to the surgery.

Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic

Traumatic arthritis:

Any critical knee injuries like ligament damage, meniscus tear, or fracture can lead to traumatic arthritis. As the name suggests, the pain and damage are caused by mini trauma due to the sudden impact of the accident. This trauma affects articular cartilage and osteoarthritis takes place. When this happens, the knee joint becomes stiff causing severe knee pain.

Additional causes:

Other causes for a knee replacement can be gout, unusual bone growth, death of bone structure, and the loss of cartilage. People are advised to consult their Primary Care Physician or Surgeon to see if they are candidates for surgical intervention.


Have more questions about your upcoming knee replacement? Sign up today for your free personalized pre-op consult with a Orthopedic/Spine Nurse Practitioner or Medical Device Specialist today!



1. "Knee Replacement Surgery - WebMD." 22 Apr. 2019, https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/knee-replacement-surgery. Accessed 4 Dec. 2019.

2."Osteoarthritis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic." 8 May. 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351925. Accessed 4 Dec. 2019.

3. "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? - Arthritis Foundation." https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/rheumatoid-arthritis/what-is-rheumatoid-arthritis.php. Accessed 4 Dec. 2019.


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