Knee Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery

August 31, 2015

Do You Need a Total Knee Replacement?


600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed worldwide each year. Over 90% of people who undergo total knee replacement experience an improvement in knee function and a reduction of knee pain.

Knee pain caused by arthritis, wear and tear, injury, or degenerative disease often progresses beyond non-surgical treatments. During knee replacement surgery, an orthopedic surgeon will replace your damaged knee joint with synthetic components and resurface your existing knee. Total knee replacement benefits include the restoration of your knee’s performance and range of motion.

Signs You May Need a Total Knee Replacement
Once your knee has deteriorated enough to cause severe or chronic pain, the best option is often surgical. Meet with an orthopedic surgeon to discuss you options if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Aching during and after exercise
  • Stiffness after prolonged sitting or driving
  • Pain during rainy weather
  • Pain that keeps you from sleeping
  • Difficulty walking or climbing stairs
  • Visible deformity of the knee – bowing or bulging
  • A noticeable decrease in your knee’s range of motion

If you have already tried prescription and over-the-counter medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy without improvement, knee replacement surgery may be your best chance for resuming your normal life. Keeping a record of your knee pain—its triggers and severity—may be helpful in diagnosis.

An experienced orthopedic surgeon will perform an examination of your knee, order and analyze X-rays, and test your range of motion with a series of exercises.

Total vs. Partial Knee Replacement
There are two types of knee replacement surgery—total and partial. The surgery that works best for you depends on your diagnosis, the status of your knee, and your overall health. The goal of both surgeries is to provide a long-term solution that will resolve your pain and improve your quality of life.

If just one area of your knee is suffering from wear or inflammation, a partial knee replacement may be the best option. Partial knee replacement surgery replaces only the damaged part of the knee while keeping trauma to the healthy ligaments and bone at a minimum.

Because partial knee replacement is a smaller surgery, it has quicker recovery time. Partial knee replacement surgery works best if your knee damage is from an isolated, minor injury or general wear and tear.

If more than one portion of your knee suffers from damage, you will likely need a total knee replacement.

A total replacement is usually the best option if you have severe, long-term arthritis, and your knee joint is already unstable. Rheumatoid arthritis is degenerative, and a partial knee replacement may not keep future pain and additional surgery at bay.

The procedure that is best for your knees will depend on the cause of your deterioration, and the extent of the damage with which you are coping. Be candid with your surgeon about your pain levels and physical limitations to ensure that you are making the best surgical choice.
If you would like to learn more about knee replacement surgery in Arkansas, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at 877.918.7020 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons.

*Picture “Pkrvstotalknee” CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia

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