My Favorite Knee Replacement Videos

It’s human nature to want to know as much about an upcoming surgery. For some, that little booklet your doctor will give you pre-surgery is more than plenty. Those handouts tend to be quick and easy reading…nothing to elicit fear and they usually steer well clear of any graphic images. Reality is, surgery is a messy endeavor (that’s why it’s called “gross anatomy” :). Tiny capillaries bleed at the smallest trauma and tissues don’t like being messed with. All that being said, if you want (or need) to preview exactly what’ll happen on the big day, there’s no substitute for watching complete and unedited knee replacement videos. Basically, there are two main types: 1) animated 3d models and 2) the real deal. Below, are the best videos I’ve seen for each type, along with my feedback…

3D Animated Videos

Created by Nucleus Medical Media, this video is all about education. From the form/function of your knee to the specific steps involved before and during surgery, it provides an excellent, overall summary of the procedure.


  • Impressive Production value – it features clear and accurate models with 360 degree views of the knee, surrounding anatomy and more.
  • Surgical Process – the explanation of knee implant anatomy, along with how it integrates into your bones (at the 1:30 mark) is a very accurate representation of that portion of the surgery.
  • Narrative and notes – though relatively short, the video hits on all the major points pre, during and post-surgery. The discussion points are very clear and direct, with no discernible errors.

If you want a great overview of the procedure without all the blood and guts, stick to this video (over the years, I’ve recommended it to a bunch of pre-surgery friends and clients). If you’re not the squeamish type, read on…

Live Surgery Videos

Most folks have a threshold for unadulterated anatomy (eg, if you couldn’t get past dissecting a frog in HS biology, you’re probably better off bypassing this section as well :). If you’re good to go, let me introduce you to my favorite live surgery video. Recorded in late 2012 during a total replacement procedure at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, it shows EVERY detailed step. Performed by surgeon Dr. Jeff Nassif, the video was featured on a local news station (KCRG-TV9) and hosted by Dr. Sandeep. FYI: the patient is a woman and it’s a total knee replacement. Enjoy:


  • Multiple camera angles – from wide views of the surgical team to overhead close-ups, you won’t miss a thing.
  • Commentary – it’s always nice getting live, first-hand comments from the performing surgeon, and that’s exactly what you get here. Dr. Nassif takes you through every important step, with a ton of patience and detail.

By the way, the surgical team is wearing full headgear due to the splatter potential. As the implants get integrated into your bone, there’s a fair amount of hammering involved. That can result in airborne tissue, so it’s just another safety measure.


If surgery is in your immediate future and you’re the curious/investigative type, knee replacement videos can be a very informative resource. However, if it’s not in your nature, don’t watch too many live surgery clips. I’ve had folks call me up just out of misplaced fear. The reality is knee replacement has extremely high success/safety rates and very little can so dramatically improve your way of life. ALL surgery is messy — sometimes knowing (and seeing) less is more, so do what you need to get educated, ready and, most importantly, optimistic about your procedure. Enjoy your new freedom!

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