When should you get a knee replacement surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is a procedure performed to replace the damaged portions of the knee joint with an artificial prosthetic joint. This procedure is also called knee arthroplasty. It has become increasingly popular in treating knee joint problems such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, injury etc. It helps in relieving pain and restoring function to damaged knee joints.
The knee joint can be damaged due to a number of reasons. However, the most common reason is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint condition characterised by joint pain and stiffness. Age is the most significant contributing factor to osteoarthritis.
In knee arthroplasty of knee replacement surgery, the damaged bone and cartilage is cut from the thigh bone, shin bone and kneecap. They are then replaced with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high grade plastics and polymers. They are designed to fit your knee perfectly.
The main aim of knee replacement surgery is to relieve joint pain and stiffness, as well as restoring maximum function to the knee. It is suitable for patients who are suffering from:
- Extreme knee pain or stiffness that interferes with the daily routine activities as simple as walking or sitting.
- Persistent knee pain that occurs even while sleeping or lying down.
- Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that doesn’t reduce with medication.
- Noticeable knee deformity.
- Psychological issues stemming from functional limitations or pain.
Based on the extent of damage to the knee joint, the surgeon might recommend either total knee replacement surgery or partial knee replacement surgery.
The main difference between TKR and PKR is that in TKR, both compartments of the knee joints are replaced unlike PKR where only one side of the knee is replaced. Not everyone is suitable for partial knee replacement surgery, as for this procedure the damage should be limited to only one compartment of the knee.
Both types of knee replacement surgeries are purely elective procedures. Basically, you can decide when to have the surgery by yourself. So, the burning question is this: “What time is the right time for a knee replacement surgery?”
Many individuals postpone the procedure till the pain and stiffness become unbearable. They may delay the surgery due to a number of reasons such as fear of surgery. However, knee replacement surgeries have now become extremely common, giving people a second chance at a pain free life.
Most doctors advise knee replacement surgery only when conservative treatment options such as oral and topical pain medication (prescription and over the counter medications), lifestyle changes, injections, alternative therapies and weight loss.
You should consider scheduling your procedure if you are experiencing:
- Persistent pain that isn’t getting better
If all forms of conservative treatments are not helping in reliving your knee pain, you should seriously consider scheduling your surgery soon. Knee replacement surgeries can provide as much as 90-95% pain relief, especially in younger patients.
- Joint pain and stiffness interfering with your routine life
If you find yourself unable to do routine and simple tasks such as climbing stairs, sitting, walking etc, it might be time to get a consultation for knee replacement surgery. This surgery helps by removing all of the damaged bone and tissue from the knee, relieving the stiffness and pain.
If you suffered any trauma to the knee that has caused permanent damage or deformity, ask your doctor if a knee replacement surgery is a suitable treatment option for you.
If you have any joint deformity either since birth or due to a previous trauma/surgery etc, knee replacement surgery can help correct it, helping you avoid future complications.
The main thing to remember is to give yourself time to prepare for the surgery both physically and mentally. You can visit the Best Hospital for Knee Replacement in Gurgaon and ask the doctors about the exercises and diet you should follow in the days leading to the surgery that can help speed up your recovery.
Another important thing to consider while scheduling total or partial knee replacement surgery is to allow yourself enough time to recover. So, make sure you finish all your prior commitments and keep a comfortable buffer time before you get back to your usual routine.