When is Knee Replacement Surgery Necessary?

Although knee replacement surgery is frequently performed in patients between 50-80 years of age, doctors base their decision solely on the knee’s condition, and not the age of the patient. Some teenagers with juvenile arthritis have also had knee replacement surgery after orthopedic surgeons considered it the best solution after looking at the patient’s medical history, physical state, and image results from the x-ray or MRI conducted.  Knee replacement surgery is usually performed as a last resort for patients with severe osteoarthritis.

Visit Providence’s Knee Replacement Surgery resource page for more information and schedule an appointment for an accurate diagnosis of your knee ailment.

In the following article, Jared R H Foran, MD, discusses the circumstances that cause orthopedics to turn to knee replacement surgery.

Ailments that Cause Chronic Knee Conditions

If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard for you to perform simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even begin to feel pain while you are sitting or lying down.

If nonsurgical treatments like medications and using walking supports are no longer helpful, you may want to consider total knee replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain, correct leg deformity, and help you resume normal activities. Read more here

Arthritis is the primary illness that affects the knees, causing the cartilage to wear out. If treatment is not sought early, the knees become more susceptible to damage that may make knee replacement necessary. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis are the three major conditions that result in chronic inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis is degenerative and often affects people older than 50 years of age. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, affects people of all ages and is a type that falls under inflammatory arthritis. Post-traumatic arthritis usually follows a severe knee injury.

In the following article, Richard Laliberte discusses the benefits and the recent technologies used in knee replacement surgery.

Benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery

A power drill whirs noisily—shavings curl from the bit as it bores a precise hole. Cement oozes from a caulking gun to join two surfaces. A hammer whacks repeatedly on metal. Behind the workers, a busy crew shares measurements and part sizes.

It’s the sounds of renovation, but it’s not a new kitchen. In a hospital in Philadelphia, a medical team led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Matthew Austin is replacing a knee joint. It is his fifth surgery of the day. An hour later, he’s off to his next case while the rest of the team handles the final details. Read more here

If you have undergone every treatment possible, but the pain in your knees remains unbearable, or if your movement is significantly restricted, your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery. This decision will depend entirely on the state of your knee and the reasons behind the failure of other treatments. Remember that during the period that you were trying alternative treatments, the bone grinding at your knees never stopped. Having implants placed in the knee joint will permanently protect the bones in your knees.

In the following article, Yvette Brazier discusses the knee replacement procedure and what patients should expect.

Partial or Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery restores the weight-bearing façade of a damaged, worn, or diseased knee joint. The aim is to remove pain and restore mobility. It is also known as knee arthroplasty, or “knee resurfacing.”

The surgeon caps the ends of the bones that form the knee joint with metal or plastic components, or implants a prosthetic, shaped as a joint. This enables the knee to move properly. Replacement knee surgery can help patients whose knee or knees have degenerated due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis, when an injury has damaged the knee. Read more here

Before an orthopedic surgeon performs a knee replacement surgery, he needs to know the type of replacement you will need. The decision depends entirely on the damage to your knee. Partial knee replacement surgery is performed on patients who have damage on only one side of the knee joint, while total knee replacement involves placing implants on both sides of the knee joint. The doctor will discuss your situation, and which of the two options is more appropriate.