Knee replacement surgery is often a last resort measure when all the typical treatment options for persistent pain and discomfort have been exhausted and failed to provide any sort of relief to the sufferer. Though any form of surgery can be invasive and require a period of recovery, knee replacement surgery can have you off your feet for months.
It’s one of the reasons why a lot of people put off having this type of work done, they don’t want to deal with the lengthy recovery time and they feel like the surgery can be performed at a time that’s far more convenient.
But this is unfortunate as the longer you allow the pain and difficulty of walking to linger, the worse you’re making the condition and the more complicated the surgery might be. This results in an even longer recovery time.
So if you believe that you are suffering one of the many potential warning signs that could make you a candidate for surgery, it’s best that you see your doctor immediately.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Having this type of work performed means that the doctor will be removing most or all of your existing knee joint and implanting an artificial joint in its place. This is, essentially, total knee replacement surgery that will give you complete and total freedom from pain and discomfort.
Recovery time typically takes a few months and you will go through some physical therapy to help you acclimate and walk with your new joint.
When Should You Get This Surgery?
Undergoing knee replacement surgery is not an easy decision but it’s one that should be made if and when you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms:
Consistent Pain and Discomfort
If you are experiencing knee joint pain, there are treatments you may be able to try first to reduce the amount of discomfort that you are feeling. By all means, try other options that are less invasive first but you may find that these stop working after a while or aren’t effective in the first place.
You may soon realize that this pain is the first warning sign of more to come and, eventually, the only way to stop the agony is by having a total knee replacement.
That discomfort has also restricted the use of your legs in ways that have reduced your ability to get around. If walking or running is difficult to do, then you may be on your way to having major knee problems.
Life isn’t meant to be lived in persistent discomfort and if you find that doing even the simplest things like getting up and down from a chair and walking to the opposite side of the room is growing more challenging with each passing day or month, then it might be time to speak to the doctor.
Stiffness and Swelling
Your knee might be showing signs of swelling and you feel stiff when you try to bend it. This could happen in the morning when you wake up or grow more routine throughout the day. Any of these signs are an indication that something could be wrong with the knee joint.
Activities that never used to cause you pain or discomfort are now resulting in extended periods of aching in the knee. Perhaps short durations of strain are getting longer as time goes on and even the smallest activities are causing you stress.
Walking with a Cane
If you find yourself worried about keeping your balance, you may rely on a cane to get around. But is a cane really necessary when surgery can eliminate the need for one altogether? In the event you are becoming more reliant on assistive devices to simply get around, this could be a warning sign as well.
We all want to put off the inevitable when it comes to fixing our bodies. There is no scheduling it for a time that’s more convenient because, the truth is that there is no “convenient time”. There is only the time that you are wasting which could be better spent pain-free.
Patients who wait are gambling with the success rate of their surgery. Many factors play a role in knee replacement surgery and things like age, lifestyle choices, weight, and overall health can make it tougher to be a candidate for surgery. If you have it done earlier than later, you’re actually improving your chances of success with knee replacement surgery. But putting it off could affect those factors and you might not be able to have the work performed.
When all other treatments aren’t working, then what is the solution if not surgery?