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When should I have a knee replacement done?

If you suffer from severe knee pain that prevents you from performing daily activities, knee replacement surgery may be a suitable option.

Although it is generally considered to be a very safe procedure, there are some risks associated with knee replacement surgery. The most serious complications include infection and stiffness in the knee.

Before considering knee replacement surgery, prospective patients should undergo a series of thorough medical examinations and tests for a reliable and accurate diagnosis. If your condition proves to be particularly severe, a doctor will suggest knee replacement surgery to alleviate symptoms and restore the functions of the knee.

Knee replacement surgery is most commonly recommended for patients in the following situations:

  • You tried multiple non-surgical treatment options, such as medication, injections, physical therapy, ultrasound therapy, plasma therapy, lifestyle changes, and weight loss programs, and your condition has still not improved.
  • You experience unbearable knee pain which cannot be alleviated with medication.
  • Your knee condition limits your range of motion and affects your daily activities and/or the quality of your sleep.
  • You have knee instability, especially when your knee is bent.
  • You experience severe stiffness in your knee joint.
  • Your knee's range of motion and bending degree are considerably affected.
  • X-rays indicate you have advanced arthritis, such as bone-on-bone arthritis, when there is friction between the bones in the knee joint due to cartilage damage.

If your disease is very advanced and you decide to delay knee replacement surgery, you may experience complications such as:

  • Deformities outside the knee joint.
  • Muscles and ligaments weaken or lose their function.
  • Increased pain, which can reduce your mobility to a great extent, as well as your quality of life.
  • Further deterioration of the knee joint, especially if you are very active and put pressure on your knee on a regular basis.

Not everyone is a candidate for knee replacement surgery; some medical conditions prohibit patients from undergoing the procedure. If your bones are weak and cannot support an artificial implant, if you do not have enough bone for a prosthesis, or if you suffer from a severe infection, knee replacement surgery is not recommended.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/