What Should I Expect When Undergoing Total Knee Replacement Surgery?

Healthy seniors doing knee exercises

Whether you’re thinking about having a total knee replacement or you’re currently in the works of setting up a consultation, it’s important to do your homework to better understand what lies ahead.

Meet Dr. Barry Cayen, Orthopedic Surgeon, specializing in Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery, Sports Surgery of the Knee, and Trauma. Dr. Cayen operates out of Humber River Hospital and at our Surgical Solutions Network Surgical Centre in Toronto, serving private surgery patients in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and throughout Canada. Practicing an overall heathy lifestyle, Dr. Cayen enjoys activities such as, mountain biking, downhill skiing, and tennis to name a few. Dr. Cayen is a firm believer in mixing up various exercise regimens as it will help avoid overuse injuries. Maintaining a loving and supportive family life is extremely important for not only his personal happiness, but there is an increasing evidence that it is important for overall physical health and longevity.

We wanted to share Dr. Cayen’s insight on one of the most top requested surgeries across Canada, Total Knee Replacement Surgery and why this procedure is changing lives every day.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure & Techniques

Total knee replacement is a successful surgery for the treatment of severe knee arthritis.  The knee joint is connection between the bottom the thigh bone (femur) and the top of the leg bone (tibia).  Knee arthritis is when the cartilage cap surrounding these bones in the knee wears out.

During total knee replacement, the surgeon removes the diseased cartilage in the knee and places a metal cap over end of the femur bone and the top of the tibia bone.  Between these two pieces of metal, a dense polyethylene plastic piece is inserted.  The undersurface of the kneecap is often resurfaced with a polyethylene plastic piece as well.

Surgical Solutions Network is pleased to provide patients with robotic knee replacement surgery. This system allows the surgeons to fit implants to each patient to within 1 millimeter.  One of the latest innovations in knee replacement implants is the “Medial Congruent” polyethylene insert we use for most of the patients at Surgical Solutions Network.  The advanced shape of this component can contribute to a more “natural feeling” knee after total knee replacement, when compared to older designs.

Did you know?

At Surgical Solutions Network we use a new computer navigation tool called Intellijoint which helps the surgeon determine some of the angles used in placing the metal components.  This tool is the latest technology, and helps the surgeon determine the anatomy of each individual patient in a more precise when compared to traditional methods.

Are you a candidate?

Knee replacement is an option in patients who have x-ray evidence of severe knee arthritis and have a significant limitation in their function. Additional candidate requirements include:

  • Non-surgical treatment for their knee arthritis (physiotherapy, injections, weight loss if applicable) that have not adequately helped with the pain and functional limitations
  • Good underlying health. Although there is no specific age cutoff, patients who are heavy smokers, have had recent cardiac events, have poorly controlled diabetes, severe obesity or dementia have a higher risk of complications after joint replacement surgery
  • Able to commit to the physiotherapy program after surgery

Duration & Recovery

Total Knee Replacement surgery can take approximately 1 – 2hrs. At Surgical Solutions Network, most patients stay in the clinic 1-2 nights after surgery.  Although every patient recovers at a different pace, patients are usually walking with a walker for the first 2 weeks, then transition to a cane after that.  Patients must commit to the physiotherapy regimen after surgery which includes daily home exercises for knee range of motion and strengthening, despite some initial discomfort.  80% of the recovery after knee replacement is accomplished 2-3 months after surgery.  Usually patients are followed by a physiotherapist during that time.


Data from international registries suggest that 90% of knee replacements last 20 years, and 82% last 25 years. This is from a meta-analysis of registry data published in The Lancet in 2019.

Picking the Right Approach

Being proactive and educating yourself is crucial when going through your decision process. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and dig deep to thoroughly understand what your procedure entails. Surgical Solutions Network is always aiming to provide exceptional patient care but also to help you better understand your Canadian healthcare options.

I have the best job in the world.  I work with a top-rate surgical team that is instrumental in delivering world-class patient care.  This incredible team includes nurses, physiotherapists, my physician colleagues, support staff and administrative staff. Being surrounded by such talented people makes going to work a pleasure”.

– Dr. Barry Cayen

Visit Dr. Cayen’s website for more information

Looking for Total Knee Replacement Surgery? You Have Options for Private Surgery in Canada

Surgical Solutions Network is Canada’s leader in private healthcare to provide expedited surgery. Surgical Solutions Network offers private surgery at our surgical centres in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. We offer a wide range of orthopedic procedures, including private knee replacement surgery, private hip replacement surgery, shoulder surgery, hand and wrist surgery, elbow surgery, and foot and ankle surgery.

When you choose Surgical Solutions Network for your private medical care, you can feel confident about receiving the highest quality care available while expediting your surgery, so you can get back to your normal pain-free life. Surgical Solutions Network offers Canadians access to private medical care from our fellowship-trained surgeons and registered nurses. Explore our full range of procedures for your healthcare needs and learn more about our licensed surgical centres across Canada. Ready to live without joint pain? Contact us today to arrange a consultation.

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