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When Is The Right Time To Have A Knee Replacement

When Is The Right Time To Have A Knee Replacement

Dr Dan Albright knee replacementAre you not enjoying activities because of knee pain?  Has your once active life now been more sedentary because walking or running is a painful experience?  Life doesn’t have to come to a halt. Some therapies can help, but knee replacement surgery might be in order if those are not sufficient.  Let’s examine the steps to take.

When to Seek Help

People suffering from knee pain should seek help from a medical professional if they are experiencing the following:

  • The knee pain is intense, making it difficult to carry out everyday tasks and activities. 
  • The knee pain exists even if the body is resting day or night. (The intensity of the knee pain in the resting phase can help determine the damage done to the knee.)
  • An injured knee (through sports or a fall) is not getting better, even after taking the prescribed medications or resting it. This chronic pain can be a clear indication that it is not a superficial injury. 
  • If the pain becomes extreme and even painkillers bring no relief. 
  • The pain interferes with daily mobility.  If it is too painful to walk short distances or carry out small routine tasks
  • The legs are bowing outwards.

Non-Surgical Therapies for Knee Pain

Every individual should consider non-surgical options to relieve knee pain.  Even if the therapies are not entirely successful, they can often delay the need for surgery.  Most surgeons will not consider knee replacement surgery until the following treatments have been exhausted. 

  • Medication
  • Exercise
  • Therapy
  • Change in lifestyle

Not all knee pain issues will require any or all these therapies.  Some minor injuries will heal on their own, but if the above non-surgical options are of no help, then a discussion about knee surgery should begin.

Knee Replacement Surgery

When knee pain is present and chronic and non-surgical treatments have not worked, it is time to seek help from an orthopedic surgeon.  Knee replacement surgery can give you a new lease on life - easy mobility without pain.  When the pain is out of control and unbearable, then surgery is needed. Surgery is always the last resort for knee pain.

Knee replacement surgery consists of removing damaged parts of the knee joint and replacing them with an artificial knee joint. The artificial joint is constructed of a combination of ceramic and metal. Although this surgery is common these days, recovery can take some time.  Plan the surgery when you have at least six months for a full recovery.  Your age, weight, and fitness before the surgery will determine the recovery period.  Consulting with an orthopedic surgeon will give you a better understanding of the procedure and recovery.

Orthopedic Surgeon

If you are experiencing knee pain and wish to discuss your options, contact Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, NC.  Call 919-863-6808 to schedule an appointment.

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  • AAOS
  • NCOA
  • PractEssentials