Arthritis damages the surfaces where the three parts of your knee slide over each other. The worn cartilage no longer serves as a cushion and the damaged bones rub together, they become rough, with a surface like sandpaper. This hurts, and stops your knee bending the way it should. It also makes your knee weak and sometimes bends it out of shape.
For many patients, only one of the areas of your knee has significantly worn away. This means it is possible to replace just the worn part of the knee and leave the remaining healthy cartilage alone.
Before your knee replacement surgery
It important that, despite the discomfort in your knee, you remain as mobile and active as possible. This will maintain your muscle strength and improve the speed and quality of your recovery from the surgery. If you smoke, then this is an ideal opportunity to consider giving up. Smoking increases a number of potential complications following surgery and to gain the full benefit you should stop at least 6 weeks before your surgery.