When all the cartilage in your knee is gone, the only effective treatment is to replace the whole knee. Knee replacements are now lasting for twelve to twenty years or more, and most remain pain-free. The ends of bones are soft, so they must be covered with a thick white gristle called cartilage. Once damaged, cartilage can never heal. An affected person spends the rest of his life losing cartilage until the cartilage is completely gone and the knee hurts 24 hours a day. The only effective treatment at that time is to replace the entire knee. However, the artificial knee can become dislodged from the bones and may need to be replaced after several years. The area will be so full of scar tissue that a second surgery is far more difficult than the first. If you have damaged cartilage in your knee, you should protect that knee for the rest of your life. Running, fast walking and jumping cause further damage, while pedaling and swimming usually do not. When the knee hurts all the time, your doctor will check to see how much cartilage is left. If it's gone, you probably need a knee replacement.
I had a TKR at the age of 38 in march 2010 all went wrong got infection now I have had to have it removed and I am in a full leg cast until it has gone probally 6-12 weeks I have also been told by consultant that whe they do the revision TKR that I do not have enough bone left therefore success rate is not gauranteed anybody know if there is anything out there that can grow bone back for it to work i am going mad with worry thanks to my consultant who promised me before i had the tkr done that i would lead a normal pain free life if i had the tkr done how wrong he was everyone be careful and search it out before going ahead with this op you could be worse off I know i am l !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!