Is It Time for a Total Knee Replacement?
Maintaining good mobility as you age should be one of your top concerns. One of the main things you need to make this goal a reality is good working knees. There are many problems that can cause excruciating knee pain.
A recent study found that millions of American adults suffer from chronic knee pain. Many of these people with knee pain try everything they can to avoid a total knee replacement. While going through this procedure can be difficult, it is often the best course of action if your knee pain affects your ability to enjoy life.
Here are some signs you might notice when it is time to start thinking about a total replacement for your bad knees.
Mobility Issues Are Getting Worse
The loss of joint flexibility is pretty standard when you reach a certain age. However, if persistent stiffness in your knees is affecting your ability to walk or run without severe pain, it might be time to consider a total knee replacement.
In most cases, people that need a total knee replacement will start to experience mobility issues like:
- Knee stiffness in the morning lasts over 30 minutes
- Pain in your knee becomes worse after sitting for extended periods
- The inability to walk or climb stairs
- You’re currently using a cane or other mobility devices
If you are experiencing one or more of the mobility issues mentioned above, it is time to speak with one of our surgeons at Firelands Sandusky Orthopedics about getting a knee replacement performed. Once your new knee is in place, you will attend physical therapy. The main goal of physical therapy is to help you regain mobility and adjust to your new knee.
Non-Surgical Treatments Have Stopped Working
When knee pain starts to surface, you should be able to get rid of it with the help of a hot bath, ice pack or even some over-the-counter pain meds. However, as issues with your knee persist and worsen, non-surgical methods will cease to work.
When at-home remedies stop working, you can pursue other treatments like cortisone injections and physical therapy. There will come a time when these treatments will also become ineffective at combating your knee pain.
When this time comes, you need to explore knee replacement options. As soon as you start to notice the effects of these treatments are waning, you need to discuss knee replacement with a trusted orthopedic surgeon.
Ongoing Issues With Knee Swelling
The job of the cartilage in your knee is to protect your joints from pressure and friction. Common conditions like osteoarthritis can lead to the cartilage in your knee being damaged. People with this condition usually experience inflammation problems that come in the form of knee swelling.
If your knees are constantly swollen, you need to take action. Ignoring this problem will only make your pain and mobility issues worse. Ongoing knee swelling can also be an indication that the cartilage in your knee is severely damaged. Rather than allowing this issue to worsen, you need to realize the benefits of a total knee replacement.
Knee Pain is Becoming More Frequent and Intense
The older you get, the higher the probability becomes that you will feel knee pain after staying on your feet for long periods of time or taking a long car ride. However, if this occasional knee pain is becoming more frequent and intense, you should view this as a sign that something is wrong.
Ideally, you want to pay attention to problems like:
- Severe knee pain during cold or humid weather
- Ongoing knee pain that lasts more than a few weeks
- Pain that doesn’t respond to over-the-counter pain medication
- Excruciating knee pain during and after a workout
The best way to address this disruptive and ongoing pain is by getting a total knee replacement.
It’s Time To Take Action
If you are experiencing the issues mentioned in this article, it is time to contact the team at Firelands Physician Group to discuss your knee pain and if a joint replacement surgery is an option for you.