The knee is among the strongest and most important joints in the human body. However, it is not invulnerable to disease or injury. In fact, it is one of the joints most commonly affected by both injury and arthritis.
To address pain and other discomforts associated with knee injuries and conditions, orthopedic surgeons typically start with conservative interventions, such as physical therapy, medications, and regenerative medicine approaches (viscosupplementation, platelet-rich plasma therapy, and stem cell injections). However, there are cases when surgery may be the only recourse to eliminate the pain and restore normal knee function.
Let’s learn about the signs that may prompt your orthopedic surgeon to recommend knee surgery, its contraindications, and its different types.
Why You Might Need Knee Surgery
Your orthopedic surgeon will likely recommend surgery if you have three or more of the following signs:
- Visible deformity
- Severe, debilitating, nagging pain (most likely keeps you up at night)
- Chronic inflammation
- Conservative interventions no longer provide adequate relief
- Crepitus (crackling or popping sensation in your knee)
- Loss of stability (typically brought on by previous injury to your anterior cruciate ligament)
- Persistent loss of motion
- Difficulty bearing weight on your knee
- Weakened ligaments and muscles in the knee
Contraindications for a Knee Surgery
Depending on which type of knee surgery is contemplated, your orthopedic surgeon may not recommend it if you have any of the following:
- Deep ulcers below your knee
- Very weak thigh muscles
- Knee infection or sepsis
- Severe vascular disease
- Poor skin coverage
- Poor bone quality or osteoporosis
Types of Knee Surgery
There are several types of knee surgery. The one your orthopedic surgeon will recommend will depend on the nature of your condition or injury. Your orthopedic surgeon will help you make an informed decision, taking into consideration your overall health.
The following are some of the most common types of knee surgeries:
- Knee replacement (partial and total)
- Revision knee replacement
- Arthroscopic knee debridement
- Arthroscopic ACL reconstruction
- Patellar (kneecap) tendon repair
Knee Surgery in Little Rock, Arkansas
There’s no hard-and-fast rule as to when you are supposed to have a knee surgery. Your eligibility is best ascertained by your orthopedic surgeon after doing a thorough evaluation of your condition. Age, lifestyle, weight, and the factors mentioned above also play a vital role in your eligibility for a knee surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss these with you and evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
At Bowen Hefley Orthopedics, Dr. William Hefley is routinely recognized as one of Arkansas’ top orthopedic surgeons, and he offers a wide range of innovative and highly effective treatment options for knee pain. While Dr. Hefley has performed numerous successful knee surgeries, he makes sure to try out all conservative interventions before recommending one.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. William Hefley, call us at (800) 336-2412 or request an appointment online.