Knee Replacement Surgery

Treatment options for chronic knee pain

A happy couple smiling and walking holding hands, illustrating the quality of life after having knee replacement surgery.

Treatment options for chronic knee pain

More and more people with severe knee pain are choosing to have knee replacement surgery. Modern techniques and implants have made knee surgery quicker and easier on patients than ever before.

Candidates for total knee replacement have usually tried other treatments, such as medications, physical therapy or injections. X-rays often show that cartilage in their knee has worn away, making the bones rub together and causing pain and more damage.

Scripps orthopedic surgeons provide knee replacements and other knee procedures across the San Diego region for local and out-of-town patients.

Causes of chronic knee pain

Chronic knee pain is often caused by some type of arthritis in the knee, including:

  • Osteoarthritis, when shock-absorbing cartilage in the joint has worn away
  • Post-traumatic arthritis, when old knee injuries continue to cause pain
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, when your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints because of this autoimmune disease

The most common reason for a knee replacement is severe osteoarthritis in the knee. 

Symptoms of chronic knee pain

Some of the most common symptoms of chronic knee pain may include:

  • A feeling of instability in the knee
  • Knee often buckles and/or feels like it “gives out”
  • Sharp pain in the knee
  • Dull, burning discomfort in and/or around the knee
  • Swelling and stiffness of the knee (inability to straighten the knee)
  • Knee feels warm to the touch
  • Popping, crunching and/or clicking sounds in the knee
  • Frequent knee pain at night

Types of knee replacement surgery

The two types of knee replacement surgery are partial knee replacement and total knee replacement.

Take an in-depth look at knee replacement surgery

Take an in-depth look at knee replacement surgery

William Bugbee, MD, offers insight on knee pain, advancements in knee replacement surgery and post-surgery recovery.

What to expect from knee replacement

Knee replacement can end chronic pain and help people regain mobility. While modern techniques have made the procedure easier on patients, it’s important to know if you’re a candidate, what to expect from the surgery and how long it might take to recover.

The best knee replacement surgeons

The best knee replacement surgeons

Knee replacement surgery is among the most common surgeries in the US, and Scripps surgeons perform more than 3,000 knee and hip replacement surgeries each year. That total is more than any other local health care provider, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Overall, the orthopedic surgeons at Scripps have been nationally ranked as one of the best for joint treatments.

Alternatives to knee replacement

Knee replacement is not an option without a diagnosis based on imaging and a physical exam. Some people with serious health problems may not be suitable candidates for knee replacement surgery.

Health insurance providers have different requirements before they will approve a knee replacement procedure. Usually, nonsurgical treatments are required before any surgery would be scheduled. These may include:

Scripps offers sports therapy and physical therapy at more than half a dozen locations in San Diego. Our team of experts uses the latest techniques and technologies to help people regain strength and mobility to get back in the game.

Your doctor can help you determine the most appropriate course of therapy for your condition, and provide a referral to a specially trained Scripps rehabilitation specialist for knee therapy.

Scripps locations for knee replacement surgery

Scripps Clinic orthopedists perform knee replacement surgery at three hospital campuses in San Diego County:

Support services and resources

As leaders in orthopedic care, we know what it takes to keep joints healthy. That’s why we equip our patients with support services and resources to help them achieve their best possible outcome. From connecting you with rehab services to empowering you with educational resources, Scripps offers a comprehensive lineup to help you along every step of your journey.