Knee pain is a common issue battled by many. However, in some cases, knee pain can become excruciating to the point where the patient cannot walk or do any daily activities properly. This inability to perform everyday tasks due to excruciating knee pain makes a patient wonder if they must undergo a knee replacement surgery or if a knee replacement surgery is worth it. However, the decision to undergo knee replacement surgery is a personal one that requires careful consideration. Before deciding if a knee replacement surgery is worth it, there are several factors that are to be considered, including the risks and benefits of knee replacement surgery.
In this blog, we will delve into the topic of knee replacement surgery to learn if knee replacement surgery is worth it and how to make a decision about it. So, please keep reading.
When is knee replacement surgery needed? How to Make a Decision?
While knee pain in certain cases may be chronic and limit mobility, the decision to get a knee replacement surgery must be thoroughly thought through. Before deciding to get a knee replacement surgery, it is essential to consult with your doctor to discuss your condition, symptoms and other treatment options, if any. After studying your case thoroughly, your doctor will guide you.
A knee replacement surgery decision may be needed in the following situations,
1. Excruciating pain that doesn’t get better
If you find yourself experiencing a lot of discomfort, pain and swelling in your knee along with limited mobility, like trouble walking or navigating the stairs, then it may be a sign that a surgical intervention is needed. Additionally, if your knee continues to pain, even during periods of rest or at night, it may be an indication of getting medical attention and considering the surgical option.
2. When other treatments did not work
Before deciding to get knee replacement surgery, every patient starts with the available basic treatment approaches. If you have tried various treatment options such as lifestyle changes, losing weight, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and physiotherapy to ease and alleviate the symptoms of knee pain and swelling, then you may be the ideal candidate for a knee replacement surgery.
3. A knee deformity
In case your leg has become deformed due to an injury or if a deformity has been present since birth, knee replacement surgery can be a good treatment option. Knee replacement surgery is a great option for correcting deformed knee joints and restoring their normal functionality.
4. Reduced quality of life
A knee replacement surgery may be a good option to consider if the knee pain is interfering with your everyday activities and limiting your mobility to perform basic tasks.
When is a Knee Replacement Surgery not meant for You?
While knee replacement surgery can be transformative for some patients, it may not be a good and suitable option for everyone. Certain factors that may indicate that the decision of knee replacement surgery is not meant for you may include the following,
- Medical conditions and risks: Having certain medical conditions can increase the risks associated with knee replacement surgery. For example, a doctor may not advise you to undergo a knee replacement surgery if you have certain health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, severe heart or lung disease, etc. These conditions may increase your risk of developing potential surgery-related complications.
- Infections: If you have any ongoing infections, then a surgery for knee replacement may not be the right option for you, as you will be at a risk of getting an infection in the new knee.
- Poor overall health: If you have a compromised immune system or various health issues, then it may influence the decision of a knee replacement surgery, as it could increase the risks of surgery or hinder the recovery process.
- If the reason for joint pain is something else: If the knee pain you’re experiencing is due to other conditions, such as lower back pain, then you may not need a knee replacement surgery. Treating the cause will ease the symptoms of knee pain in such cases.
- Old age: While age alone is not a determining factor, older individuals who have limited life expectancy or significant age-related health conditions and weak immunity may not be ideal candidates for knee replacement surgery.
What are the various benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery?
The various benefits of a knee replacement surgery may include the following,
- Relief from knee pain and stiffness
- Reduced knee swelling
- Improved mobility
- Improved quality of life and ease of performing everyday activities
Potential Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery
Although knee replacement surgery is a safe procedure, there are certain risks that are associated with it. Some of these Potential risks of knee replacement surgery may include the following,
- Damage to nerve
- Blood clots
- Injury to blood vessels near the knee
- Formation of scar tissue inside the knee
- Implant problems such as loosening of the device
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are signs that you need knee surgery?
The signs that indicate that you need a knee surgery may include the following,
- Severe pain and swelling in the knee that persists even when sleeping or relaxing
- Reduced mobility
- Reduced quality of life due to pain
- When other treatments like anti-inflammatory medicines, corticosteroid injections and physiotherapy don’t work
- A knee deformity
2. Can knees repair without surgery?
Yes, in some cases, the knees can heal and improve without requiring any surgery. To treat and manage knee pain, non-surgical treatments are usually the first line of approach. Some of the non-surgical treatment options that can help in alleviating the knee pain and other symptoms may include the following,
- Physiotherapy or physical therapy
- Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroid injections, or hyaluronic acid injections
- Use of assistive devices such as canes, braces or crutches
- Lifestyle modifications such as exercising and losing weight
3. Is knee surgery good or bad?
Knee surgery can be beneficial and necessary for patients with certain knee conditions or injuries. However, knee surgery also carries certain risks. Whether knee surgery is considered good or bad depends on various factors, such as the individual’s specific circumstances, the type of surgery being performed, and the expected outcomes. While knee surgery has benefits such as pain relief, enhanced mobility and improved quality of life, it also has risks such as blood clots, infections etc. Depending upon your situation, your doctor will decide whether knee surgery is a good or bad option for you.
4. What is the best age for knee replacement surgery?
Usually, people aged between 50 and 70 commonly require knee replacement surgery. However, when considering a knee replacement surgery, age is not the only factor. Several other factors, such as the patient’s health, the severity of their knee condition, and the impact of the knee pain on their quality of life, are also considered t determine if a knee replacement surgery is worth it or not.
5. Is knee surgery high risk?
Knee surgery, like any other surgical procedure, carries risks. However, the level of risk can vary depending on various factors which includes, the patient’s age, overall health, severity of knee pain etc. While knee surgery is generally considered safe and has a high success rate, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and complications. Some of the risks of knee surgery may include infections, damage to nerves and blood vessels, formation of scar tissue within the knee and blood clots.
6. How do I know if my knee is serious?
If you are experiencing chronic knee pain, swelling, stiffness and inflammation or if the pain hampers and affects your daily activities, then you must consult a doctor as it indicates that your knee is serious.
Knee pain can be extremely painful and affect everyday activities if not treated properly. If the knee pain persists and worsens even after various treatments, then a knee replacement surgery may be considered. Your doctor will consider various factors, such as your age, overall health, risks and benefits of the surgery etc., before determining if a knee replacement surgery is a suitable option for you or not.
A knee replacement surgery is a crucial procedure that needs special care. At Ayu Health Network of Hospitals, our team of highly qualified, skilled and experienced orthopaedics specializes in providing top-notch knee replacement procedures, utilizing state-of-the-art techniques and advanced technology to ensure optimal outcomes for our patients. Our physical therapists also provide the best training and after-care to help our patients recover quickly. To know more, visit our website at www.ayu.health.
About the Author
Dr. Manjunath Kumar K.
He is an orthopedic surgeon currently practicing at Mallige Medical Center, Bangalore. A highly qualified doctor, he has completed his MBBS from Bangalore Medical College and MS in Orthopedics from KIMS, Hubli. further higher surgical training was from England, Birmingham. His post-graduate degree from the royal college of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Ireland. He also has vast experience in treating Unilateral Total Knee Replacement, Bilateral Total, Knee Replacement, Total Hip Replacement Surgery, and ACL Tear