Signs you need knee replacement urgery

What are the signs you may need a knee replacement?

If your knee is damaged, everyday activities such as walking and picking up something on the floor may be difficult and painful. Not only can it cause soreness, stiffness and inflammation, but it can interfere with critical day-to-day activities like walking and moving. If you’ve suffered from knee pain for a long time, you may consider surgery. But how do you know if knee replacement surgery is a good choice for you?

As with most types of treatment you should try more conservative treatments first before you consider surgery. Anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen can soothe knee pain, while walkers and crutches can improve your mobility and help you walk more easily. But if physical therapy, exercise and pain medications haven’t improved your knee pain or made it easier for you to get around or if any of these scenarios apply, knee replacement surgery may be an option to consider:

  1. Pain medication and physical therapy don’t work
    For some people, pain medication is an effective treatment in relieving knee pain. But medication can have unpleasant side effects, like sleepiness and decreased appetite. It can also be addictive. It can be hard to tolerate these side effects, especially when medication doesn’t give you the relief you want.
  2. Knee pain affects your day-to-day activities and mood
    Does your knee pain make it difficult to walk, bend or climb upstairs? Does your knee pain make you depressed or irritable most of the time? These are signs that knee replacement surgery may be a good treatment option for you.
  3. Your knee hurts when you’re resting
    Physical movement like walking or going upstairs can irritate your knee joints and cause pain. Taking a break from movement usually makes knee pain better. But if your knee hurts when you’re resting during the day or at night, you may want to consider surgery.
  4. You know your knee is causing your pain
    Sometimes pain around our knee is actually caused by pain in your hip. In these cases, knee replacement surgery won’t help. To see where your pain is coming from, your doctor can numb your knee. If you still have pain in your knee afterwards, then your pain is probably coming from another source.
  5. Your knee joint is damaged
    If your doctor has told you that your knee joint is damaged and it is keeping you from staying active, it may be a good idea to consider knee replacement surgery. Damaged joints can get worse over time. If you wait too long, it may be harder to fix them.
  6. You have severe arthritis in your knee joint and it keeps you from staying active
    Different types of arthritis can affect your knee joints. These include osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. If your arthritis has caused severe damage to your knee joints, surgery may help. Knee replacement surgery can help relieve pain and make it easier for you to get back to your regular activities.
    1. Arthritic knee
  7. Stiffness makes it hard to move or lift your leg
    If your knee joints are so stiff that it’s hard to move or lift your leg, this may be a sign that knee replacement surgery is a good option.
  8. You want long-lasting relief
    Most treatments for knee pain are only temporary. Injections usually last for a couple months. Pain medications only last a few hours. Knee replacement surgery, on the other hand, lasts for decades. Almost 85 percent of artificial knee joints used in knee replacement surgeries last 20 years or longer.

The good news is that you don’t have to live with chronic knee pain. For most people who have knee replacements done, the procedure can offer immediate pain relief, increase your mobility and improve quality of life. Adventist Health Simi Valley orthopedic surgeons are among the most qualified and experienced in the field of orthopedic surgery, and they’ve mastered the art and science of knee joint replacement surgery.

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We’re with you every step of the way

If you have any of the symptoms above and think you may be a good candidate, call Kathryn Harada today. Kathryn brings a passion for helping patients get back to moving without pain. She brings together the entire care team to ensure you have the best possible experience before, during and after surgery. To speak with Kathryn about developing your personalized care plan, call (805) 955-6233 or fill out the form below.

Kathryn Harada, BSN, BA, RN, PHN, CNOR

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