I've had knee pain for years. Now my knee's tight, and it doesn't bend very far. My surgeon says I shouldn't expect a lot of improvement in how far the knee bends, even after I get the joint replaced. Isn't this a bit pessimistic?

Unfortunately, no. Patients who show limited bending in the knee before joint replacement surgery often have difficulty getting the knee to bend fully afterward.

There are ways you can improve your chances of avoiding a stiff knee after surgery. Get as much information as you can about how the surgery is done, what you can expect from surgery, and what exercises and rehabilitation you'll be doing after surgery. Patients who follow their doctors' advice and comply with a comprehensive rehabilitation program after surgery improve their chances of getting optimal surgical results.