Knee pain is a common experience among many Americans. In most instances, knee pain is caused by an acute injury or regular wear and tear. On other occasions, it can be a strain on knee muscles or ligaments. Other people experience knee pain caused by certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or arthritis. If you are experiencing chronic pain that affects your quality of life, you should consider knee replacement surgery.
What is a Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is performed to resurface a knee that has been severely damaged by arthritis. Currently, it is estimated that 54 million Americans have arthritis. If you have this condition, the tissue that lines your knee joints becomes thickened and inflamed. As a result, the joints erode, causing chronic pain.
Often, pain is relieved through medication. However, if it persists, you need to undergo knee replacement surgery. During surgery, the diseased bone, cartilage, shinbone, and kneecap are removed and replaced with an artificial joint.
Do You Need a Knee Replacement Surgery?
Before a knee replacement surgery is performed, your knee needs to be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor assesses your knee's stability, range of motion, and strength. An x-ray may also be taken to determine the severity of the damage.
Here are five Indicators that you urgently need a knee replacement surgery
- If You Experience Severe Pain During Activities: In most cases, arthritis pain comes with the activity. In such a case, you can no longer perform everyday routines, such as walking, cycling, or lifting heavy loads.
- If You Experience Delayed Pain: Sometimes, you don't feel any pain when performing daily activities. The knee gets painful long after completing a task, mainly when resting. For most people, it comes at night, making it hard even to sleep.
- Medications Aren't Helping: If you have mild arthritis, pain can be relieved by taking anti-inflammatory drugs. However, if these drugs aren't helping anymore, it's a sign that your knee joint is severely damaged and you need surgery.
- Less Invasive Treatments Aren't Helping: If you have arthritis, the doctor may have recommended other less invasive treatments, such as lubricating injections, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. However, if they aren't helping, you should consider knee replacement surgery.
- If Pain Causes Lifestyle Limitations: Surgery is an option if knee pain significantly affects your quality of life. For instance, you may experience difficulties driving, sitting, or performing routine activities.
Arthritis is a severely painful condition. If the knee joint inflammation is mild, pain can be managed by anti-inflammatory medications. On other occasions, pain is so chronic that you need knee replacement surgery.