A knee replacement is a very effective treatment for many patients with arthritis, which is one of the most common causes of knee pain in adults and can lead to poor mobility. Determining whether a knee replacement is right for you requires careful evaluation and consultation with your orthopedic surgeon.
Before deciding that a knee replacement is the best option for you, your doctor may try more conservative treatment, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin or Aleve, steroid injections into the joint, physical therapy, weight loss or nutritional supplements.
The primary goal of a knee replacement is to relieve pain associated with arthritis. The majority of total joint replacements are performed on people suffering from osteoarthritis, which largely results from wear and tear on the joints.
You may be a candidate for a knee replacement if you have the following symptoms: knee pain that keeps you awake at night, knee pain that sidelines you from activities, and knee pain that limits daily functions such as climbing stairs. Some other signs that you may need a knee replacement are catching of the knee and worsening deformity of the knee which may lead to falls.
Most people who need a knee replacement are adults over the age of 60, but ultimately, each individual must weigh the potential benefits of pain relief with the potential risks of surgery. As the longevity of knee replacements improve, increasingly more patients are having knee replacement surgery at a younger age. A medical exam and weight-bearing X-rays can usually help your doctor determine the condition of the knee. Knowing the condition of the knee prior to surgery, helps your doctor determine how much improvement you can expect after surgery.
Knee-replacement surgery involves removing the damaged cartilage and abnormal bone and replacing all or part of the knee joint with an artificial joint. After surgery, physical therapy is often ordered to help restore the movement and strength of the knee. Most individuals are back to their everyday activities within two to three months after surgery, but recovery depends on many factors such as age, weight, and activity level prior to surgery.
Knee replacement is one of the most effective and reliable medical procedures performed. It can significantly reduce pain and improve the ability to move. If you feel that you may benefit from a knee replacement, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for knee replacement surgery.
Dr. Rodney Alan is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with McLeod Orthopaedics in Florence. Dr. Alan is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call McLeod Orthopaedics at 843-777-7900.