Your knees have one of the most important jobs there is. Without your knee joint, you wouldn’t be able to do many activities necessary for daily life, like walking, sitting, bending, and standing.
Experiencing pain in your knees is never fun, but when it becomes chronic, knee pain can negatively affect your quality of life. Even routine activities, like sleeping, walking around the house, and sitting with friends and family can become a challenge.
When your knee becomes more of a liability than an asset, it may be time to consider a knee replacement. Nearly 800,000 Americans opt to replace these aching joints every year, but whether it’s right for you is something only an orthopedic surgeon can help you decide.
At the downtown Los Angeles office of LA Orthopaedic Specialists, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons help patients struggling with chronic knee pain learn whether knee replacement surgery is their best option.
We use proven and innovative surgical practices and devices to give you the best new knees possible. If you’re struggling to cope with chronic knee pain, take a moment to learn about the signs that knee replacement surgery may be the right treatment option for you.
What are the signs I might need a knee replacement?
While the only way to know for certain that a knee replacement is right for you is by talking about your symptoms with a board-certified orthopedist, there are some signs that you might benefit from knee replacement. These include:
- A knee that's swollen and stiff
- Feeling like you are walking bone on bone when you move
- Not finding pain and/or mobility relief from medication and physical therapy
- Less invasive treatments (e.g., cortisone injections) don’t work to reduce your pain and/or inflammation
- Normal activities, like walking, getting up from sitting, or standing, have become difficult and painful
- Your knee hurts all the time, even when you’re resting or trying to sleep
As long as you can manage your pain and inflammation with more conservative treatments and keep up with your normal activities without too much difficulty, it may not be the right time for knee replacement surgery.
What’s involved with a knee replacement?
Knee replacement surgery resurfaces a diseased or damaged knee. This surgery is normally performed only when other more conservative treatments are no longer effective.
The goal of a knee replacement is to alleviate your pain and discomfort while giving you back your mobility. The most common reason for knee replacement is osteoarthritis, but injury and damage from other diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, may make it a good solution for chronic knee pain.
During surgery, we remove the diseased or damaged bone and cartilage. Then we replace the parts with high-quality prosthetic parts, which are usually made from polymers, medical-grade plastics, or metal alloys.
All knee replacement surgery requires anesthesia. To help keep away infection, you may receive antibiotics before, during, and after your surgery.
Like all surgeries, knee replacements come with some risks. Before your procedure, we discuss these risks with you and address any concerns or questions you may have about the surgery, risks, and recovery.
What are the next steps in getting a knee replacement?
Knee replacement isn’t a decision you can make alone. Before taking any action, talk to a joint specialist, like the board-certified orthopedic surgeons at LA Orthopaedic Specialists, about your symptoms and possible risks associated with surgery.
At LA Orthopaedic Specialists, we create customized treatment plans based on your symptoms and unique situation. We review your medical history, any underlying conditions you may have, and the lifestyle factors that may affect your ability to have and recover from surgery.
The good news is that knee replacement surgery can make your knee an asset again. Over 90% of knee replacement patients are pleased with their results when the surgery is performed at the right time by an experienced surgeon.
Learn more about what to do when your knee becomes a liability by contacting us at LA Orthopaedic Specialists. Call our downtown Los Angeles office or book a consultation online now.