Knee pain can interfere with your work and daily activities. When it’s mild or moderate, you may use over-the-counter pain medications to cope with the pain. You may only have to forgo a few activities that you enjoy, because of your limited range of motion. However, as it progresses in severity, an orthopedic surgeon may recommend knee replacement surgery, which consists of your practitioner replacing the damaged knee parts with artificial ones.
So, how do you know if you need knee replacement surgery? Here are a few signs to look out for.
Pain Isn’t Manageable with Conservative Measures
Generally, your orthopedic doctor will recommend managing rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis pain with over-the-counter analgesics first. Once the pain worsens, your practitioner may recommend prescription medications to cope with the pain.
When this is no longer enough, your knee specialist will recommend corticosteroids and other similar options. However, when your doctor has run out of conservative options to help with your pain, they may advise you to undergo knee replacement surgery.
Mobility and Function Are Severely Limited
Your orthopedic surgeon will ask you how your arthritis is affecting your daily life. They will want to know if you can still do a majority of your daily activities like dressing and bathing. Generally, when you can still perform most of your usual activities and responsibilities, your doctor will continue to use conservative measures to manage your arthritis.
However, your doctor may recommend surgery if the function and range of motion in your knee are severely limited, and it affects your life on a daily basis.
A Knee Deformity Has Occurred
In the early stages of arthritis, pain and swelling are the most common symptoms. However, with rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the lining of the joints. As the condition progresses, it can eventually cause your knees to become deformed. Specifically, you may notice that you’re becoming knock-kneed or bow-legged. Knock-kneed is when your knees point inward when you stand up. When your legs are close to one another, they touch or “knock.” When you suffer from bow-leggedness, your knees point outward. At this point, you probably have extensive damage to your joint, and an orthopedic doctor may recommend joint replacement.
Pain Interferes with Sleep
Your practitioner will inquire if you feel pain when you’re sitting or if the pain wakes you up or hinders your ability to fall asleep. If you’re suffering from pain in your knees even when you’re at rest, your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery. Your surgeon may also make this suggestion if you have pain at night that’s interfering with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Arthritis Is Interfering with Ability to Enjoy Life
A part of the evaluation process will involve inquiring about how your knee pain impacts the activities you enjoy. If you are unable to do the activities you enjoy, it can lower your quality of life. If you can no longer do hobbies that you once loved, even through the use of pain management techniques and other accommodations, your orthopedic doctor may suggest surgery.
Experienced Orthopedic Surgeon for Knee Replacement Surgery in Farmington, MI
Our orthopedic surgeons thoroughly understand the components of your knee and how they wear out over time. We will take the time to provide you with a comprehensive evaluation to ensure you get the right diagnosis. We will then recommend an appropriate treatment that manages your pain and helps you continue to live life in the best way possible. Our surgeons only suggest surgery when it’s necessary.
Contact Tri-County Orthopedics, PC, serving Farmington and the surrounding area, if you suffer from arthritis in your knees and would like to better manage it. Call 248-474-5575 or use our online appointment booking tool.