As with most surgery, there are lots of variables that determine how easy the recovery is and how well things come out -- e.g age, sex, health before surgery, severity of original knee problems, etc.
You may want to check out the Knee Guru forum here
as it has LOTS of info in addition to numerous threads from folks with both good and .... well, not so good results.
Here's a bit of recent history from someone who is apparently prone to building up scar tissue.
I went in hoping to get a partial replacement, ended up getting a full replacement on 12/28/06.
- Had some in-house PT until 2/07 when I could drive to PT
- returned to work end of Feb. (8 weeks off)
- got stuck @ 90 degrees range of motion (ROM)
- 3/07 had first manipulation under anesthesia (MUA)
- 3/16/07 got past 90 to ~120 degrees but got stuck there
- lots and lots of PT thru July but no real improvement
- 07/07 MUA #2 but no significant improvement
- 10//31/07 got second opinion but basically he said original OS did nothing wrong and recommended using special JAS brace in addition to more PT and waiting.
- follow ups thru 04/08 but no real improvement. He'd offered to go in again to check things out but may have to replace everything. At this point frustration level was so high, I said go for it and scheduled 2nd surgery
- 07/08 replaced 2 pieces of replacement, not whole thing; easy recovery since it was not as invasive as 1st op; was walking around the block in 3 weeks. More PT....more follow up appts.
- 08/08 stymied again @ around 90-100 degrees so we scheduled:
- 08/28/08 MUA #3
- more PT, more follow-ups throughout 2008 then PT credits expired
- 06/09 had 1 year follow up and he basically said "it is what it is" and that full replacement is only option and gave the caveat that since I'm prone to building up scar tissue after surgery, it may happen again. So I'm most likely going to limp along until retirement in a couple of years.
Hopefully you'll be like the majority and get good results but do go in with your eyes open and do your homework.
Good Luck and Best Wishes!!!