Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the country, with around . Moreover, about 90% of people who undergo a knee replacement have their pain significantly reduced. That pain reduction can mean an increased quality of life, improved mobility, and the ability to participate in activities that were once impossible or too painful.
If you're reading this, you're likely dealing with knee pain that is getting in the way of your daily life. But, is it really so bad that you need to have your knee replaced?
Here are six signs that it may be time to have a conversation with your doctor about knee replacement surgery:
1 - Your Knee Pain Is Intense, Frequent, And Persistent
It's not abnormal to feel pain in your knee every once in a while. After a long day on your feet or a long day of travel, your knees may feel achy and sore. But if you're regularly experiencing pain, especially intense knee pain, that may be a sign that it's time to consider a knee replacement.
If you're not sure if your pain qualifies as intense, frequent, and persistent, ask yourself:
- Has my knee pain lasted more than a couple of weeks?
- Does my knee pain keep me up at night?
- Does my knee pain get worse when the weather is cold or humid?
- Does my knee pain flare up during and after exercise or activity?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's time to talk to a specialist about the possibility of a knee replacement.
2 - Non-Surgical Options Aren't Working Anymore
If you've been dealing with knee pain for a while, chances are you've already tried some at-home and non-surgical methods to find relief. These may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, icing and rest, hot baths or showers, or .
Maybe these methods worked for you at first, but if you're finding that your knee pain is getting worse despite these measures, it may be time to consider a knee replacement. When non-surgical options are no longer providing relief, it's often an indication that the underlying issue has progressed and a more serious treatment like surgery is necessary.
3 - Going About Everyday Life Is Increasingly Difficult
Have you ever found yourself putting off a chore because of your knee pain? Are you dreading your next family vacation because you know it will be difficult to get around? Or maybe you used to go for walks around your neighborhood but now you can't because the pain is too severe.
These are just some examples of how knee pain can make everyday activities more difficult. If you're finding that your quality of life has decreased, you're no longer able to do the things you used to enjoy, or you're starting to rely on others to help you with everyday tasks due to your knee pain, it's time to seek medical help.
4 - You've Noticed Swelling In Your Knee
In a healthy knee, cartilage acts as a shock absorber and lubricant. But when this cartilage starts to break down, it can cause the bones in your knee joint to rub against each other, which leads to swelling.
If you've noticed that your knee is swollen, especially if the swelling is accompanied by pain, stiffness, or redness, it's important to speak to a professional. Swelling can be caused by a number of different things, but if you're noticing it on a regular basis, it might be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.
Left untreated, swelling can lead to further damage and pain. Therefore, if you're noticing this symptom, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
5 - You Have Arthritis
It's common for people who go through a knee replacement to have been diagnosed with arthritis, typically either osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage in your knee joint breaks down. This can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of motion in the affected joint.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of motion in the affected joints. It can also lead to bone erosion and joint deformity.
Post-traumatic arthritis develops after an injury to the knee. This can happen if you've had a fracture, ligament tear, or meniscus tear. The injury can lead to long-term joint pain and stiffness.
All of these kinds of arthritis can cause damage to the cartilage in the knees, ultimately leading to a knee replacement. Furthermore, advanced arthritis can also cause a person's knees to become bowed, making it difficult to walk or even stand. In some cases, a knee replacement may be necessary to prevent further damage and pain.
6 - You're Of A Certain Age
Age alone isn't a deciding factor, but it's worth noting that the majority of people who undergo a knee replacement are over the age of 60.
In fact, while it is possible for people of all ages to receive a knee replacement, the procedure is typically not performed on younger people. That's because younger people tend to lead more active lifestyles that put additional stress on the joints, making an artificial knee wear out faster. For this reason, many surgeons are hesitant to perform the surgery on patients who are under the age of 60.
If you're over the age of 60 and experiencing any of the above problems, it's time to pay a visit to Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists.
Visit Pittsburgh's Trusted Joint Replacement Specialists
A knee replacement may be a big decision, but it's one that can dramatically improve your quality of life. At , our team of skilled surgeons is dedicated to providing each and every patient with the individualized care and attention they deserve.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons near you are proud to provide our patients with . This kind of surgery has been shown to lead to a quicker recovery, less pain, and fewer complications. In other words, we can help return you to your daily life as quickly and safely as possible.
If you're experiencing any of the above problems, don't wait any longer to seek help!
Our Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists specialize in a wide range of services, including physical therapy, joint replacement surgery, and much more. with us today and get back to the things you love!