Considering A Knee Replacement?

Occasional knee pain can be normal. Sometimes the problem occurs because a person exercised too strenuously or failed to lift a heavy object properly. However, for some people, the pain is a constant presence that limits activities and ultimately reduces the overall quality of life. While standard interventions like pain medications, steroid injections, and physical therapy (PT) can be beneficial, not all individuals will experience sufficient relief. When knee pain persists, a partial or total knee replacement might be a good idea.

RIO ortho sports medicine All Or Nothing: Do You Need A Partial Or Total Knee Replacement?

The surgical approach

Knee replacement or knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure where some or all of the knee is replaced. Common reasons for the operation include significant damage, wear, or even disease in the joint. Sometimes the treatment is also referred to as knee resurfacing. The damaged bones are removed and replaced with alternative versions crafted from metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination. The procedure takes 1-2 hours to perform.

Why get a replacement?

Degenerative damage caused by general wear and tear or even disease is the most common reason for a person to undergo a knee arthroscopy. For example, joint degeneration caused by osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or even post-traumatic arthritis that occurs after an injury can all be contributing factors. In the US, more than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed yearly, so the procedure is considered routine.

Partial vs total replacement

Choosing between a partial or total knee replacement depends on a variety of factors. However, the extent of the damage in the joint is one of the primary concerns. Partial replacements can be ideal as the patient can keep more of the natural bone, tissues, and ligaments. Additionally, the procedure is less invasive and has a faster recovery time, but few people are ideal candidates for a partial replacement. On the other hand, a total replacement will require more prosthetics or implants to be used, has a more extended recovery period, and may still leave a person with limited mobility.

Making the choice

Ultimately, extensive damage or diseased joints will be the most significant criteria determining whether a person should undergo a full or partial replacement procedure. People should understand that while the surgery can improve the joint’s stability and integrity, the process is no guarantee that arthritis won’t return to the area. Partial replacements are not encouraged for people with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 40. Additionally, the ligaments in the joint should be intact, and arthritis shouldn’t be present throughout the site.

Get back to moving

Knowing that a knee replacement may be required to return to regular life can be intimidating and scary for many people. However, opting for surgery can stop the progression of degenerative conditions that would further impair mobility and make simple activities difficult to accomplish. For a better understanding of the determining factors for knee replacement, as well as which version is best, consider speaking to a physician.

Recent Blogs