Knee Reconstruction and Replacement Surgery

An injured or diseased knee can make everyday activities painful or unbearable. For patients who wish to remain active, UT Southwestern Medical Center offers total knee reconstruction and total knee replacement surgery to replace the injured joint and restore function to the knee.

We offer knee reconstruction and replacement surgery for knee joints that are injured or deteriorating due to a number of factors, including:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears or injuries
  • Arthritis, including rheumatoid, post-traumatic, psoriatic, and osteoarthritis
  • Avascular bone necrosis (damages blood supply to joint)
  • Torn cartilage

Why Choose UT Southwestern for Knee Replacement Surgery?

At UT Southwestern, our skilled surgeons perform more than 450 knee replacement surgeries every year. This high volume of knee replacement surgeries gives our surgeons the experience needed to consistently achieve positive outcomes for patients.

Our doctors are knowledgeable in the latest surgical techniques and technology, offering the most advanced treatment options to our patients.

As leaders in the field of orthopaedic medicine, our orthopaedic surgeons were the first in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to use knee replacement techniques specifically designed for women.


Symptoms of a knee injury or disorder that may require total knee replacement surgery include:

  • Unbearable pain in the knee joint
  • Instability, stiffness, and loss of range of motion
  • Cracking sound or sensation
  • Locking
  • Discomfort and pain when walking
  • Swelling


After conducting a physical exam and patient history to determine the cause and severity of your knee injury, our doctors will often order X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to see if you are a good candidate for knee reconstruction or replacement surgery.

X-rays help doctors view the joint and see if there is any deterioration in the bone. CT and MRI scans are used when we need to get a comprehensive look at soft-tissue injuries to ligaments, cartilage, and tendons.

Our state-of-the-art diagnostic tests allow us to understand the extent of the injury and its location to determine if replacement surgery is the best course of action.


UT Southwestern Medical Center offers world-class technology and techniques in the surgical replacement and reconstruction of the knee joints – including knee reconstruction surgery, total joint replacement, partial joint replacement, and revision surgery.

Reconstruction Surgery

Many times, in severe ACL tears, the ligaments can’t be sutured back together, so ligament reconstruction surgery is the best treatment option. In a knee ligament reconstruction, your surgeon will replace your torn ligament with a tissue graft from a healthy tendon. The graft acts like scaffolding for a new ligament to grow on.

Total Knee Replacement

In total knee replacement, or total knee arthroplasty, the surgeon resurfaces the end of the thigh bone (femur) and the top of the lower leg bone with metal where the two bones come together to form the knee joint. The surgeon leaves the original ligaments, tendons, skin, muscle, and most of the bone and simply resurfaces the damaged cartilage in the knee with a metal liner.

The space between those two metal surfaces is filled with a plastic spacer. When a patient walks after surgery, metal rubs against plastic instead of bone against bone, improving a patient's gait and relieving pain.

At UT Southwestern, we offer a minimally invasive, or arthroscopic, approach to total knee replacement which uses smaller incisions and offers faster recovery times. 

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

We offer partial knee replacement to patients suffering from knee arthritis that is confined to one section of the knee. Partial knee replacement resurfaces the worn-out part of the joint with a metal and plastic liner.

Revision Knee Replacement Surgery

For patients who have had negative outcomes from knee joint replacement surgery at other institutions, we offer knee revision surgery.

Your surgeon will work with you to determine which method and materials will best suit your needs. Following knee reconstruction and replacement, we offer physical and occupational rehabilitation to help patients return to normal activity quickly and safely.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a sports medicine specialist at UT Southwestern or to learn more about our services, please fill out the Appointment Request form or call 214-645-8300.