When is it Time for a Knee Replacement?

When is it Time for a Knee Replacement?

Research has shown that more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States, a number that will continue to increase. If chronic knee pain is affecting your daily lifestyle, don’t ignore it, because you could be setting yourself up for more pain, less mobility, and increased possibility for injuries such as slips and falls. It might be time to ask your physician about the possibility of undergoing a knee replacement, and what that procedure may involve.

Have you ever been in so much pain and stiffness in your knees, that you have trouble with your mobility? Well, these symptoms are often associated to injured or diseased joints. Your knee joint can be damaged by osteoarthritis, or from other conditions or injuries.

Arthritis, or simply years of use, may cause a lot of wear and tear on your joints. Bones are alive, and they need blood to be healthy, grow, and repair themselves. Someone with a degenerative joint, a patient may experience a host of complications, such as limited blood flow, pain, stiffness, and swelling. If not treated properly or early enough, there is a good chance that your orthopedist may tell you that you need to have joint replacement surgery, especially after other treatments such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or exercise, has failed.

Joint replacement surgery has progressed leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades and is regarded as the most successful surgery in the field Orthopedics. There are millions of people around the world who suffer from crippling joint disorders and pain, who may ultimately need a form of joint replacement surgery.

Knee replacement surgery is the remedy for people to come back to an active and productive life. The present-day knee replacement surgery is well advanced with better understanding of human anatomy, refined surgical techniques, technological advancement in accuracy and design of implants to ensure complete and painless mobility.

If a knee replacement is the right course of action, your orthopedic surgeon will do a thorough examination of your knee using MRI or X-rays, and go over your medical history, before making a final decision.

Here are signs that the time might be right for a knee replacement:

  1. Other treatments besides surgery don’t work to ease your pain.
  2. You have difficulty performing everyday tasks.
  3. You need the aid of durable medical equipment (DME) such as a cane, wheelchair, or walker to get around.
  4. Your pain is severe and chronic, even when your knee is at rest.
  5. Your knee has become degenerated for conditions such as arthritis, or from injury.

With certain injuries or prolonged suffering from arthritis, the bones in the knee joint can actually change shape and become disfigured, sometimes making surgery almost a necessity. Depending on the severity of damage, your surgeon may suggest either a full knee replacement or a partial knee replacement. With a partial knee replacement, only the damaged or diseased portions of the knee are removed and replaced with prosthetic material.

If you think you may be a candidate for a knee replacement, call South Palm Orthopedics at    or request an appointment online.