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About the Procedure

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When the surgical team is ready, you'll be taken to the operating room, where you'll be given anesthesia.

Depending on the type of anesthesia you receive, it will either help you sleep through surgery or make your body numb from the waist down.

An incision will be made on the front or side of your knee, damaged bone will be cleared away and the prosthesis will be put into place. Your incision then will be closed with staples or stitches.

Whether all or only part of your joint is being replaced, your surgeon starts by preparing the bone.

He will clean and shape joint surfaces to hold the prosthesis before it is put into place. He then will test the fit and alignment of the prosthesis.

If the prosthesis fits correctly, its parts will be secured to the thighbone, kneecap and shinbone. These parts then are joined, forming a new joint.

For a total knee replacement, the incision is about eight to 10 inches long and often is made on the front of the knee.

For a partial knee replacement, the incision is about three inches long and often is made on the front of the knee.