Knee Replacement Surgery

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of chronic arthritis. The condition affects approximately 1.4 million Australians, or approximately 7.3% of the population. The cause of osteoarthritis (OA) is not completely understood.  Being overweight or obese can contribute to OA, particularly in females. Obesity is more strongly associated with OA of the knee than the hip.  


Individuals with a history of joint trauma or injury are more likely to develop OA. Joint injuries include dislocation, fracture, and tears of the cartilage or ligaments.  Congenital abnormalities (conditions that are present at birth) can cause abnormal joint alignment, which may lead to OA. The alignment of a joint affects the load across the cartilage and other tissues. Areas of cartilage under high load or pressure can degrade faster or be damaged by joint movement. This may lead to early-onset OA. OA may run in families. A person is more likely to develop OA if their parents have OA that is early in onset or involves more than one joint.


Approximately 97% of  performed in Australia are due to OA. The disease is uncommon before the age of 45 years and mostly affects people aged 65 years or over. It is more common in females than in males.


Osteoarthritis usually progresses slowly and may produce non-specific local symptoms that impair health-related quality of life, such as pain with joint use, stiffness, loss of joint mobility and function and alteration in the shape of the joint. The knee is most commonly involved, followed by the hip. The spine, foot and joints of the hand can also be affected.