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6 Signs It’s Time to Consider a Knee Replacement

6 Signs It’s Time to Consider a Knee Replacement

Osteoarthritis is one of the main causes of chronic knee pain, leading to difficulty walking and doing everyday activities. However, knee pain has various causes, some of which are easier to treat than others.

If you've tried conservative treatments with little to no relief or your pain is so bad you can't work or do your everyday activities, you may be considering surgery to correct the problem.

When the knee joint becomes damaged beyond repair, a knee replacement is your best option for a better quality of life and relief from years of pain. Knowing when to consider a knee replacement can save you from more years of pain in your knee.

Dr. Brian Snow and Dr. Jon Thompson are both orthopedic specialists at Alpha Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Dr. Snow and Dr. Thompson are experts in joint replacements, evaluating your joint and pain to determine if the next step is surgery for permanent pain relief.

What is a knee replacement?

A knee replacement is a procedure where a surgeon removes damaged areas of the knee joint and replaces them with prosthetic devices. A knee replacement aims to reduce pain in a damaged joint and restore function in the knee.

Knee replacements are surgical procedures; we typically don't perform them unless essential. Conservative treatments are the first line of treatment because they carry less risk and don't require anesthesia.

However, in severe cases of knee pain, a knee replacement may be the only option that provides long-term pain relief and restores joint function.

During knee replacement surgery, Dr. Snow or Dr. Thompson makes an incision in the affected knee. They use surgical tools to remove damaged bone and cartilage to make room for the prosthesis.

They measure the joint to determine the proper size of the prosthetic. They then put the prosthetic in place, secure it to the bones’ healthy parts, and close the incisions.

Six signs it’s time to consider surgery

A knee replacement is a big deal, especially if you’ve never had surgery. However, it’s a highly successful treatment for severe osteoarthritis and damage to the knee joint.

If you’re living with chronic knee pain, several signs point to a knee replacement as the next step, and they include:

1. Conservative treatments haven’t worked

Physical therapy, joint injections, and over-the-counter medications are all conservative treatments for knee pain. If you’ve tried all these without relief and knee pain still affects your activities, a knee replacement may be the next option.

2. Pain is severe and limiting activities

Severe knee pain doesn’t just hurt physically; it also takes a toll on your everyday activities, which is mentally challenging. Severe knee pain paired with the inability to perform routine functions is a tell-tale sign that a knee replacement is a good option

3. You have severe osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis causes severe damage to the cartilage, which protects the bones in the knee. Severe osteoarthritis continues to worsen without treatment, often resulting in the need for a total or partial knee replacement.

4. Your knee is stiff most of the time

Stiffness in the knee joint is another common sign of osteoarthritis or damage. If your knee is stiff and painful throughout the day and other treatment measures don’t correct it, a knee replacement can help.

5. You can’t walk or climb stairs

Severe damage in the knee joint can lead to disability, including the inability to get up the steps or walk more than a few feet. Considering walking and climbing stairs is usually necessary, it’s time to consider a knee replacement for these symptoms.

6. Knee pain is affecting your quality of life

Your quality of life is essential to your physical and mental well-being. When knee pain begins affecting how you live your life, you’ll do anything to correct the problem.

A knee replacement is a great way to reduce chronic knee pain to almost zero and improve function in the joint, which in turn, allows you to improve your life.

Although a knee replacement is a big step, it’s an excellent option for long-term pain relief for knee joint dysfunction. Dr. Snow and Dr. Thompson evaluate your overall health, knee joint imaging, and past treatments to determine if you’re a good candidate for a total or partial knee replacement.

To find out if a knee replacement suits you, don’t hesitate to call us at one of our three locations in McKinney, Prosper, and Sherman, Texas, to schedule a consultation or request an appointment on the website.

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