Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you didn’t have to deal with chronic knee pain? For many people, this type of pain can lead to limited mobility, which has a widespread effect on many aspects of everyday life that many people take for granted. Knee replacement surgery can be a way to get back to living a knee-pain-free life.
More than half a million Americans undergo knee replacement surgery each year. Some of the common causes are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage around the knee joint wears away, resulting in the painful scenario of bone rubbing on bone. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes chronic inflammation of joints. Both can require knee replacement surgery if they get too painful.
Especially if you’ve been living with chronic knee pain for a long time, it can be difficult to know when to consider knee surgery. Here are some common signs for knee replacement, as well as some signs that might mean it could be better to wait.
Signs it might be time for a knee replacement
There are a few signs that, when considered together, may indicate that it’s time for a knee replacement. This includes the level of your pain, the effectiveness of less invasive treatments and the level of difficulty or pain experienced when moving.
One of these signs is that it is getting more difficult to manage the pain, even when you’re not using your knee. This is especially true if treatments like cortisone injections, physical therapy and medications like strong anti-inflammatories are no longer helping ease your knee pain.
Another sign is that it may be difficult to perform everyday tasks like getting up from a chair, climbing stairs or even getting dressed. This can include needing help from a cane or a walker to get around because of your knees, especially if you are between the ages of 50 and 80.
Signs it might be time to wait
While it can be frustrating to live with knee pain, knee replacement surgery is not an option to take lightly. There are other treatments that can be effective before going this route. Some signs that it might not yet be time to consider knee surgery include giving other treatments a chance to work. This includes muscle-strengthening exercises and pain medications like anti-inflammatories.
Another factor is overall health. If you have weak muscles in your thighs, it may be difficult to support a new knee joint. Being overweight can also be a factor, as extra weight puts pressure on the knees and may actually move parts of the new knee joint, which can lead to even more pain or another surgery.
We would all love to keep all the original parts of our body that we were born with throughout our entire lifetime, but sometimes parts wear down faster than expected. If you are looking for more information on when to consider knee surgery, get in touch with Bernard Ong, M.D. today to schedule an appointment.
Categorized in: Knee Replacement
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