Knee replacement surgery or arthroplasty involves replacing the damaged joint with a metal or plastic prosthetic. If you have advanced knee arthritis, this may be the only hope you have for relieving pain and restoring knee function. Knee arthroplasty is minimally-invasive but still considered major surgery. You can go home on the same day, but you have to prepare for an extended recovery and rehabilitation.
Here are a few things you should know before replacing your knee. Hopefully, this helps you make an informed decision about your treatment. Make sure to discuss any concerns you have about the procedure with your orthopedic surgeon.
Make It Your Last Resort Option
Any good orthopedic surgeon will make knee replacement a last resort and exhaust all conservative and less invasive methods of treatment to relieve knee pain and improve mobility. If pain is a problem, there are many options for pain management. There are cortisone injections, viscosupplementation, electrical stimulation, physical therapy, and much more.
It Is Not Always Recommended For Younger Patients
Persistent pain is a consideration for knee replacement, but so is age. Knee replacement surgery is typically not recommended for younger patients with more active lifestyles. The artificial replacement knee may wear out sooner and necessitate a revision surgery if knee replacement is given to patients under the age of 50. Recovery from revision surgery is usually more difficult than a knee replacement, as it is a more complex procedure. That’s why surgeons generally do not recommend this procedure for younger patients unless absolutely necessary.
Consider The Recovery Period
Knee arthroplasty, although minimally invasive, requires taking time off from work for quite a while. Knee replacement patients can take anywhere from four months to a year to fully recover from a knee replacement. If you have an office job, you may return as soon as six weeks after surgery. If you have a job that requires you to be physically active, you may need additional time off.
Consider Other Surgical Alternatives
Ask your doctor about other surgical options that are less invasive. For example, knee arthroscopy may fix your knee problem, which involves reconstructing ligaments and removing or repairing torn meniscal cartilage, synovium, or bone fragments. If you are under 60 and damage is limited to only one side of the joint, there is osteotomy, which involves cutting and reshaping the bone around the joint. This eases pressure on the joint and improves knee function and delays the need for knee replacement. Another option for someone of normal weight and one bad knee is a partial knee replacement, which removes the damaged part of the knee, leaving healthy tissue untouched.
Knee Replacement Surgeon in Merriam, KS
If you believe it’s time for a knee replacement, consult with one of our knee replacement surgeons at Midwest Orthopaedics. We like our patients to be informed, and discuss what to expect from knee replacement surgery, including the risks. While we specialize in knee arthroplasty, we also like to give our patients options and empower them to make their own choices. We practice patient-centered care in our Kansas orthopedic clinic. To make an appointment with one of our doctors, call (913) 362-8317 or use our online request form.