Osteoarthritis is a common reason you suffer from knee pain. It may be a result of genetics, previous trauma, or obesity. Regardless of why you developed knee osteoarthritis, you may eventually reach the point where the pain is unbearable.
The team here at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists doesn’t recommend knee replacement surgery unless you have pain that’s severe and interfering with your life on a daily basis. If conservative treatments fail to help you find relief and your quality of life is negatively affected by your knee pain, knee replacement surgery may be the logical step.
Knee replacement surgery means all or part of your joint is replaced with an artificial joint made of plastic or metal. Surgery is a big step and requires a long recovery but offers relief that can last for years — and often for the rest of your life.
Here are three signs that knee replacement may be your best option.
Pain is constant
If your knee pain is present when you’re walking, exercising, standing, sitting, going up stairs, or just lying down at night, it’s certainly time to consider knee replacement surgery.
Pain may interfere with your sleep and regular mobility. Your knees are stiff and swollen and act up in rainy weather. Your joint may feel like it grates, or the bones rub together. Knee replacement surgery can relieve this pain.
Other pain relief fails
The doctors at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists delay knee replacement surgery for as long as possible and treat your pain with less invasive treatments. You may start to treat knee joint pain with over-the-counter options, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen or use prescription creams and ointments that you rub onto the skin to ease discomfort. Sometimes, you can’t tolerate NSAIDs.
Other treatments that your doctor may try before recommending surgery include corticosteroid injections or hyaluronic acid shots. These treatments can ease pain temporarily and help your joints move more smoothly but usually aren’t a permanent fix.
The team at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists may also recommend you take steps at home, such as moving a bit more and losing any extra weight, which puts a lot of pressure on aching knee joints.
If none of these treatments provide satisfactory relief, it’s likely time to consider knee replacement surgery.
Deformities in the knee joint
When you have severe knee pain, you may notice that arthritis has created a bowing in or out of your legs. You might look like you have knock-knees. This deformity contributes to dysfunction as well as stiffness and is a sign that your arthritis has progressed significantly enough to require joint replacement surgery.
You may also notice you have a decrease in the range of your knee motion, which makes it difficult (or impossible) for you to fully straighten or fully bend the knees. Knee replacement surgery can restore your range of motion and realign the joints.
If you have knee pain that’s intolerable and seriously affecting your quality of life, the expert team at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists is here for you. We want to ease your pain in the most effective way possible. We walk you through every step of knee replacement surgery and help you with recovery. Call or book a consult through our online portal today.