The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have reported that around 600,000 knee replacements are being performed each year in the United States. Since 1968, knee replacement surgery has been performed to help patients whose knee(s) have been injured, or plagued by conditions such as arthritis, causing degeneration and severe chronic pain. The goal of partial or full knee replacement surgery is to relieve pain, and ultimately improve mobility and get you on your feet again.
The most common diagnosis for the cause of knee pain that leads to knee replacement, especially in older adults, is osteoarthritis. This is basically the wear and tear form of arthritis, where years of activity just wear down our joints. If your everyday activities are being prevented due to pain or discomfort in the knee, then arthritis may be the cause of your chronic pain, along with other conditions. If you are experiencing pain, don’t wait, as talking to a surgeon or specialist early can help get you the best treatment possible. After non-invasive treatment options have been exhausted, the most common form of treatment for chronic knee pain is either a partial or total knee replacement.
The majority of knee replacement patients are between the ages of 65-80 years old, but in some cases, younger patients with knee problems will also undergo knee replacement surgery. One of the big reasons many people wait until they’re older for the surgery, is that they believe that the new prosthesis will wear down over time. This isn’t true in all cases, and often depends upon your activity level, the severity of joint disease, or the type of prostheses used.
When to Consider Knee Replacement
Surgeons may want you to consider a knee replacement if the knee damage is severe, and pain, deformity, or disability are diminishing your quality of life. You are a good candidate for knee replacement if these symptoms occur:
· Knee pain or stiffness limits your daily activities
· Knee pain is present even when not using it
· The knee joint is deformed
· X-rays show severe joint degeneration
· Other non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, joint injections, haven’t worked.
What is A Total Knee Replacement?
A total knee replacement (TKR) is a complex procedure that requires an orthopedic surgeon to remove the diseased portions of your bone in your knee. The old degenerated bone is taken out, and the remaining bone is shaped, whereupon a new joint is put in place in the form of a prosthesis, made from ceramic, metal, or plastic. During the procedure, the surgeon builds the artificial knee inside your leg, one component at a time, to create a realistic artificial joint. The goal is to recover and relieve pain, and restore mobility and function.
What is A Partial Knee Replacement?
A partial knee replacement only repairs the parts of the knee that are damaged, where damaged bone and tissue are replaced with prosthetic material. A partial knee replacement is beneficial as the procedure preserves the healthy tissue and bone in the knee, providing range of motion and function after recovery.
If you think you may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery, call Dr. Bill Hefley at (800) 336-2412 to request an appointment, or request an appointment online.