Total Knee Replacement May be the Solution to Your Knee Problems
Millions of Americans suffer from knee problems. If you are one of these people, you may benefit from a total knee replacement. A total knee replacement involves cutting away some of the damaged bone and cartilage around the knee and replacing it with an artificial joint. This procedure, also called an arthroplasty, uses high quality metal and plastic parts to relieve pain and provide stability. These artificial joints can easily last 15 years or longer, and results continue to improve as specialists develop new technologies.
When is total knee replacement needed?
Several conditions can necessitate a total knee replacement.
- Severe arthritis or osteoarthritis
- Severe injuries to the knee from a fall
- Severe injuries suffered during an athletic activity
Since total joints wear out over time, they are generally not recommended for knee problems in younger patients.
Can knee problems be treated without surgery?
Depending on the severity of the pain and damage to the joint, surgery is not the only option. Some knee problems can be managed through medication or an injection. Losing weight can also help reduce knee pain by minimizing stress on the joint. The best way to figure out your treatment options is to see a specialist. They can perform an examination of your knee and order imaging tests to determine the full extent of the damage done to the joint. Then they can discuss treatment options that are best for you and your unique situation.
How long does it take to recover from full knee replacement surgery?
Total knee replacement is a major surgery that may require 3 to 6 weeks of rest and rehab before you return to regular activities. This time may change based on your overall health and physical ability. Regardless, it is extremely important to follow the routine established by your provider and physical therapist. These exercises and stretches help you recover more quickly and regain more function in your knee.
When should you see a specialist for your knee problems?
Pain is a huge factor in determining when to see a specialist. Many minor injuries or aches & pains are treated with rest and hot/cold treatments. If pain is consistently an issue or makes it difficult to sleep at night, it may be worth seeing a doctor. He or she can help diagnose your condition through an exam and/or images such as an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan. This will help you and your physician discuss treatment options to minimize your pain, increase mobility, and get you back to your regular activities. Our specialists at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group can help you through this process.