Knee replacement, otherwise known as a total knee arthroplasty, is one of the most common and successfully performed surgical procedures and has been around for decades. This procedure involves removing the damaged or worn-out parts of your natural knee joint and replacing them with artificial parts that appear and function like your natural knee joint.
Even though knee replacement surgery is a safe procedure, it may not be suitable for everyone. So, who is the right candidate for knee replacement surgery? Here, we will discuss who needs knee replacement surgery and help you determine if it is right for you.
1. Those Who Have Knee Arthritis
Arthritis has several forms that can damage knees and cause so much pain, stiffness, and disability that the knees may need to be replaced. Arthritis of the knee can result from age-related wear and tear (osteoarthritis), auto-immune disease (rheumatoid arthritis), or a traumatic injury to the knee joint (post-traumatic knee arthritis).
Arthritis of the knee, especially severe osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation and deterioration of knee joint cartilage, which is the slippery coating on the ends of the thigh bone and shin bone. When the cartilage wears away, the space between the ends of the bones becomes narrow and they rub against each other, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling.
2. Those Who Have Pain Affecting Their Lifestyle
Each person experiences and tolerates pain differently. Anyone who has knee pain that is affecting their ability to work, interact with people around them, have a good night’s sleep, maintain good hygiene, or do other daily activities such as shopping or getting dressed should consider knee replacement surgery.
Knee replacement surgery is also a suitable option for those whose pain is getting worse over time or becoming more frequent and accompanied by significant swelling and stiffness.
3. Those Who Have a Knee Deformity
Knee deformities, such as knocked knees and bowlegs, put abnormal stress on the knee joint, leading to knee pain and dysfunction. Anyone who is born with a knee deformity or whose knee is deformed because of a traumatic injury can consider knee replacement surgery to repair their knee alignment and relieve their knee pain.
4. Those Who Have Failed to Find Adequate Relief From Other Treatments
Orthopedic surgeons typically recommend that everyone with knee pain try conservative, non-surgical treatments before considering a knee replacement. Conservative treatments include bracing, anti-inflammatory medications, losing weight, taking pain-relieving medications, getting cortisone injections, and engaging in physical therapy and exercises.
Anyone who has tried conservative treatments for but failed to find adequate pain relief should consider knee replacement surgery.
Determining Whether Knee Replacement Surgery is Suitable for You
To determine whether you are a candidate for knee replacement surgery, it is best to consult with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knee replacements. Your orthopedic surgeon will take into consideration your age, overall health, medical history, and the severity of your knee pain and its impact on your quality of life. They will also perform a physical exam to assess your knee’s range of motion, strength, and stability as well as the signs of any deformities. You can also expect your orthopedic surgeon to review diagnostic and MRI to get a better idea as to whether your knee bones are damaged or deformed. In certain cases, bloodwork may also be required to point out or rule out the other causes of your knee pain.
If you are a candidate for knee replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will provide you with all the necessary information and guidance you need about the procedure.
Knee Replacement in Raleigh
If your knee constantly hurts when you walk or are at rest, or is changing appearance, it might be the time to consider knee replacement surgery. Our fully trained and skilled knee replacement surgeon, Dr. Brett J. Gilbert, will thoroughly assess your knee condition and symptoms and recommend the most suitable treatment option which may include conservative treatments or surgical treatments. Using state-of-the-art technology to perform knee replacement surgeries, Dr. Gilbert can help provide you with the long-term pain relief you need.
To learn more about knee replacement surgery or to make a private consultation with our surgeon, call us today at (919) 788-8797. You can also request an appointment with Dr. Gilbert by using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.