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Donna Hill Howes, RN, Family Medicine, answeredIn a knee replacement, doctors resurface the ends of bones and attach artificial joint surfaces, or prostheses, that can move together without causing pain. The ends of the femur, or thigh bone, and top of the tibia, or shin bone, are resurfaced, and the prostheses are attached permanently. Healing and physical therapy can take months. Knee replacement is usually done in older people, but it can be done in younger people in cases where the joint is damaged to the point that a total replacement is the only option.