Is It Time for a Knee Replacement?

Posted on 08. Jan, 2014 by in Health

Knee replacement is a major procedure and choosing to have one done requires a considerable amount of deliberation. Here are a few signs that you might need to get a knee replacement surgery done:

  • You experience knee pain which does not allow you to sleep properly
  • Your knee pain restricts you from doing certain activities such as climbing staircases or getting up from a chair. This can affect your daily life and can deteriorate the quality of life that one has
  • Your knee pain does not allow you to enjoy simple pleasures such as a good walk or causes you to avoid travelling and other activities which require you to use your knees.
  • Despite trying some treatment or the other, the pain continues to persist.

Apart from the signs of a knee replacement surgery being required, there are other considerations such as age, general health and bone density which factor into the entire decision. Your doctor will be the best person to get this advice from, but you should when you should approach him with the suggestion.

There are also a few signs which show that knee replacement surgery is not really required. If the pain does not limit normal activities or if they only limit activities such as running or skipping, then knee replacement is not really required. Also, knee pain can be treated through other treatments and if those treatments show improvement, then there is no need for a knee replacement surgery.

Knee replacement surgery is a consideration to be made if all other treatments such as exercise, medicine, physical theory or changing your daily routine all fail to alleviate the pain and the disability. After a knee replacement surgery, daily exercise is required for a few weeks. An interesting fact to note is that over ninety percent of all knee replacement surgeries last for a minimum of fifteen years although those who suffer from osteoarthritis may need to get their knees replaced again as osteoarthritis erodes the bones of the knees. Click here for further details on osteoarthritis and its treatments.

So what exactly is a Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is the capping of the ends of the thighbone and the lower leg bone and kneecap with metal and plastic implants. Following the implants, cement is used to bind all the components together.

Post-Op

Knee replacement surgery is followed by a period of serious rehabilitation. Most people are made to walk with the help of walkers or crutches the day after the surgery and physical therapy starts immediately. Doctors also recommend exercising on stationary bicycles in order build strength in the leg muscles and also to increase the flexibility of the knee. The period of rehabilitation generally takes several weeks but it does help you resume activities such as walking, climbing stairs, getting into cars, etc. without experiencing any pain.

It is also important to note that surgery does not improve the actual functioning of a knee and an artificial knee is not as good as a normal and healthy knee. Knee replacement surgery also comes with a few risks and though these are not really common, they still deserve a mention.

  • Infection may start around the joint
  • Obese and overweight people may experience blood clots
  • Nerve damage around surgical area
  • People with diabetes and other immune related problems may have difficulties with healing
  • Click here (http://www.medicinenet.com/total_knee_replacement/page2.htm#3whatare) for more information regarding risks related to knee replacement surgery.

Knee replacement is a serious surgery and you and your doctor both need to consider a lot of things before the final decision is made to get the knee replaced. However, if your quality of life has become significantly lower due to knee pain, then knee replacement surgery is a very viable option and should definitely be explored.

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