Being young, you don’t really think too much about your future – one in which your body might not be as healthy as it is now. We usually don’t make a connection between our lifestyle and the health issues that occur later in life, even though most conditions are caused by a lifetime of neglect, i.e. not taking care of your body, not seeing your doctor as soon as you notice the first symptoms, not recognizing that the life you live today will influence the way you feel tomorrow. We often just ‘live for the moment’ without seeing the outcomes of our actions. As a result, our health suffers.
In this post, the practice leading the way in terms of orthopedics in Boca Raton, Orthopaedic Surgery Associates, takes a more in-depth look at knee pain and the ultimate treatment for it: knee replacement surgery. If you want to know the signs you or a loved one might be needing knee replacement or you’re simply wondering whether it’s worth it, read on.
What Causes Knee Pain?
Before we discuss knee replacement surgery, let us talk about what causes knee pain in the first place and why it’s important to explore the available treatment options. Aching knees can prevent you from living life to the fullest. They can significantly decrease your mobility, making it difficult to perform normal, everyday activities like walking, driving, even getting out of bed in the morning. This isn’t the life you would choose for yourself, is it?
Acute knee pain is typically caused by injury or trauma. Meanwhile, chronic knee pain — which involves long-term pain typically accompanied by swelling and sensitivity — often stems from the combination of various risk factors, such as:
- Obesity – Excess weight increases stress on your knee joints. Additionally, it increases the risk of degenerative joint disease by accelerating the breakdown of joint cartilage.
- Weak muscles around the knee joint – Weak muscles don’t provide enough support for the joint and therefore make it prone to pain and injury.
- Osteoarthritis – The most common type of arthritis, it occurs when the cartilage in your knee deteriorates with use and age.
- Overuse – Repetitive use of the knee can cause overuse injuries.
- Previous injuries – People who have previously injured their knees are more prone to developing knee problems.
- Infections – Some unaddressed infections, such as untreated laryngitis, can cause joint pain.
- Exercising inappropriately – Exercising without protective gear, and without warming up or cooling down, can wear out your knees.
- Bad diet – Diet rich in inflammatory foods, including sugar, saturated fats, and dairy, can lead to chronic knee and joint pain.
The good news is that knee pain can often be prevented and treated. Aside from making lifestyle changes to avoid and reverse some of the risk factors listed above, your orthopedic doctor will also recommend or prescribe other treatment options suited for your current condition. Knee replacement surgery is one of those treatment options.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
If you and your doctor have already tried all other knee pain and injury treatments, an orthopedic surgeon may eventually recommend knee replacement. This surgery involves removing all or certain parts of the knee joint. The orthopedic surgeon will then replace the removed knee joint with an artificial one, which is made of plastic and metal.
What are the Signs You Need Knee Replacement?
As mentioned above, your orthopedic doctor may finally suggest knee replacement when all non- and minimally-invasive methods did not work to improve your condition. In addition to this, there are other signs that knee replacement might be recommended for you:
- Your knee pain is so severe that it keeps you from performing daily activities comfortably and properly.
- You feel pain even when resting, regardless of the time of day.
- You experience knee inflammation that doesn’t seem to get better despite resting and taking medications.
- You have leg bowing (in or out).
- You do not feel pain relief from NSAIDs or you can’t take them.
What is the Best Age to Have Knee Replacement?
Most patients who undergo knee replacement surgery are between 60 and 80 years old. However, this does not automatically mean that it’s the best age to have a knee replacement. It just so happens that many patients from that age group are the ones who waited quite a while before seeking treatment for their knee pain. Patients older or younger may also be candidates for knee replacement surgery, depending on their condition.
Can You Wait Too Long to Have Knee Replacement?
Many patients feel intimidated by the term “surgery” and as a result, they tend to delay or ignore their need for it for as long as possible. However, the key to getting the most out of knee replacement surgery is to get it done at the right time. As such, you shouldn’t wait too long to have it. Similarly, you shouldn’t undergo knee replacement if your orthopedic doctor does not recommend it yet.
So, when is the best time to get a knee replacement? The answer is it depends on your condition and other factors. This is why it’s imperative that you work with a trusted doctor from a reliable orthopedic center in Boynton Beach, as they will determine when and if you need a knee replacement.
Is Knee Replacement Worth It?
According to research, 82% of knee replacements can last an average of 25 years. Meanwhile, another study reveals that 90% of knee replacements are still fully functioning after 15 years and that 90% of people who have undergone this surgery report significant pain reduction. So, yes: knee replacement is definitely worth it if it means not having to live with severe pain and being able to comfortably move around for the next decade or so.
Orthopedics in Palm Beach County – Are You a Good Candidate for Knee Replacement Surgery?
Indeed, it is unfortunate that in some cases, the knee will require surgical treatment. Knee arthroscopy (aka knee replacement) is recommended when a patient suffers from chronic knee pain caused by a degenerated joint.
Knee replacement surgery is a relatively simple procedure but it can literally change your life. If you are suffering from knee pain, we strongly encourage you to seek help from an orthopedic specialist in your area. Furthermore, if you’d like to find out more about possible treatments for knee pain including knee replacement in Boynton Beach or knee replacement in Boca Rato., talk to one of our orthopedic doctors about your options. For more information visit our website or use our online form to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. We look forward to seeing you soon!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.