Knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which damaged bone and cartilage of the knee are removed and replaced with a prosthesis. Knee arthroplasty or knee replacement improves a patient’s daily activity by reducing pain and discomfort.
All persons who opted for knee replacement have the same question; when is the right time for knee replacement?
According to some research, the optimal time for knee replacement surgery depends on some parameters such as:
- The severity of pain
- Joint functionality
- Strength of joint
- Radiographic assessment
- Age of the patient
An X-ray of the knee joint helps an orthopedic surgeon to determine the extent of the damage.
Before recommending the knee replacement, orthopedics always prefers a thorough conversation with the patient.
The correct timing is one of the critical factors determining the success of knee replacement surgery. It means having surgery at the right time gives maximum benefit to the patient.
- Knee replacement surgery at the initial stages of arthritis may not give any health benefit to the patients. These patients may need second revision surgery later in life.
- On the other hand, delay in replacement surgery may also be detrimental. An example is patients suffering from osteoarthritis. If surgery is the last resort for these patients and they hesitate to take the surgery, the delay may further impact the success of the surgery:
- Osteoarthritis can destroy the knee joint. Due to poor knee conditions, some patients may be unable to straighten their legs. Thus all activities like walking, moving around, getting up, and even going to bed are affected.
- Excessive waiting before surgery may reduce the benefits of knee replacement surgery. Patients with delayed knee replacement surgery may experience limited mobility compared to those who had surgery on time.
People hesitate to opt for knee replacement surgery because of some myths such as:
- Arthritis is more common in old ages, so, no need for surgery.
- People in their 40s may delay their treatment believing that knee replacement surgery is an option only for the elderly.
- Many people believe that after surgery, they may experience limited knee mobility.
- Some people believe that the prosthesis used for knee replacement may show many side effects later.
- There is also a myth that one may require lifelong physiotherapy after knee replacement surgery.
- Many people believe that the chances of failure of knee replacement surgery are high.
With the advancements in knee joint replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery has emerged as a safe and successful treatment modality. One should not hesitate if the surgeon recommends surgery, as replaced knees are functionally better and improve the quality of life.
Benefits of knee replacement surgery
Knee surgery can help a patient in many ways, such as:
- One of the most common complaints of knee osteoarthritis is severe pain. Knee surgery can alleviate excruciating knee pain.
- Knee pain limits you from performing basic physical activities such as walking for a short distance, climbing stairs, and even sitting down or rising from a chair. Knee surgery benefits you by reducing joint pain and stiffness so you can do your daily activities without any discomfort.
- Knee surgery reduces the need for long-term medication, especially opioid pain relievers and steroids. Long-term intake of such medicines can cause many complications.
There is no correct age when one may need knee replacement surgery. An orthopedic may advise you of a knee replacement surgery after reviewing the symptoms and condition of your joint. Knee replacement at the correct time may protect you from any future complications.