Knee pain may be a common phenomenon but it can acquire extreme proportions if timely treatment of the condition is not carried out. It might vanish or alleviate in most of the cases but it might become so aggravated that it may start interfering with your daily routine. If that is the condition you are facing then it needs to be replaced. No doubt, your ortho doctor will agree with you if it is so. But before you opt for knee replacement, you must try out other alternatives like medication, physical therapy, and walking aids. If you observe other possible signs like aching in the joints, alternating with periods of relative relief; immobility, pain after walking too much, stiffness in the joint after sitting or sleeping then you need to consider your knee treatment options.
Your primary care doctor will help you find a reference for an orthopedic surgeon who will know the right time and type of knee surgery you require. He may advise against the knee replacement surgery if there is an infection, or the bones are weak.
Knee replacement is more common than you think. It is a routine surgery that gets performed on more than 600,000 patients annually. It yields excellent results as the majority of the population claims to experience improvement in their condition.
Diagnosis of knee pain
The orthopedic surgeon will perform a thorough physical examination of your knee, followed by an X-ray to diagnose the knee pain. He will also question you about the description of your pain, and if you have experienced injuries in that area. You will also be subjected to tests that ascertain the strength and range of motion of your knees.
The right time for a knee replacement
If you experience the following conditions then it may be the right time to undergo surgery-
- You have persistent or recurring pain
- Your experience of knee aches during and after physical activity.
- You feel lack of mobility as compared to earlier times
- You don’t feel relieved even after taking medication and using walking aids
- You feel stiffness in the knee while sitting in a car or a movie theatre seat
- Rainy weather brings pain
- The pain is so acute that you can’t sleep
- You are unable to bend your knee.
- You feel a decrease in knee motion or the degree to which you’re able to bend your knee