Knee Replacement Surgery

Conditions like arthritis can damage the knee, making even simple, everyday activities difficult and painful. For some patients, nonsurgical treatment may be sufficient in relieving symptoms. If nonsurgical treatment is not effective in relieving symptoms, knee replacement surgery may be an option.

For patients who are eligible for knee replacement surgery in Salt Lake City and surrounding communities, there are a few different surgical options available. Dr. Magee is trained in advanced surgical techniques for knee replacement designed to spare as much healthy bone and tissue as possible.

Anatomy of the Knee

The knee is made up of three bones: the lower end of the thighbone, the upper end of the shinbone, and the kneecap. Articular cartilage covers the bones where they meet, protecting the joint and allowing for easy movement. C-shaped wedges of tissue called the menisci rest between the thighbone and shinbone, providing additional cushioning and shock absorption to the joint. Ligaments hold the joint in place, and the synovial membrane lines the joint, lubricating the cartilage.

Arthritis can damage the cartilage in the knee, leading to pain and stiffness that affects daily activities. Sometimes, cartilage damage can affect the entire knee. In other cases, cartilage damage may be limited to either the inner or outer portion of the knee.

Candidates for Knee Replacement

Nonsurgical treatments like anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy may be effective in relieving symptoms for some patients. If nonsurgical treatment does not relieve symptoms, knee replacement surgery may be an option. Candidates for knee replacement surgery have severe pain and/or stiffness in the knee that limits daily activities. Pain may be present even while at rest. In some cases, the knee may swell or become deformed.

If arthritis damage affects the entire knee, total knee replacement may be necessary. However, if the damage is limited to the inner or outer side of the knee, partial knee replacement may be an option. An orthopedic evaluation is necessary to determine whether a patient is an appropriate candidate for total or partial knee replacement.

Knee Replacement Procedures

Patients have a few different options for knee replacement surgery, depending on the location and extent of the damage in the knee. Dr. Magee offers advanced surgical options for knee replacement surgery to reduce recovery times, including Mako® partial knee replacement.

Mako® Partial Knee Replacement

Dr. Magee has offered Mako® robotic-arm assisted partial knee replacement at his practice since 2011, making him the first in Utah to offer this procedure. Mako® partial knee replacement may be an option for patients with early or mid-stage arthritis, or arthritis that only affects one portion of the knee. This procedure is designed to preserve as much of the healthy bone and soft tissue as possible.

During this procedure, only the diseased portions of the knee are resurfaced. A CT scan of the knee is taken to create a 3D virtual model of the knee, which is used to guide the Mako® robotic-arm. The Mako® robotic-arm guides Dr. Magee in placing the implant, ensuring more accurate placement and alignment. The accuracy of implant placement may create a more natural feeling in the knee. Mako® partial knee replacements can also be performed with smaller incisions, which can result in less blood loss, less scarring, a reduced hospital stay, and quicker recovery.

Total Knee Replacement

If arthritis damage is severe, or affects the entire knee, total knee replacement may be necessary. During this procedure, the entire joint surface in the knee is replaced with implant components. Because total knee replacement is more invasive than partial knee replacement, recovery times may be longer.


Recovery times for knee replacement surgery vary depending on the type of procedure. Patients undergoing Mako® partial knee replacement generally experience quicker recovery times than patients undergoing total knee replacement, but both procedures produce positive results in the appropriate patients.

You may have many questions and concerns both before and after knee replacement surgery. For more information about what you can expect from knee replacement surgery, please see our FAQ page, and contact our office if you have any questions.

Mako® Partial Knee Replacement in Salt Lake City, UT

Dr. Trevor Magee and his group were the first to offer Mako® partial knee replacements in the state of Utah. They have used this technology since 2011. If you would like more information about how Mako® partial knee replacement can help you, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Magee, please call our office at (801) 533-2002.