Signs It May Be Time for a Knee Replacement
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After weighing the risks of knee replacement, patients with the following signs and symptoms may want to consider this surgery.
Disruption of Everyday Activities
One of the main reasons to consider knee replacement is when pain that markedly limits everyday activities, despite the use of pain-relief medications.
To consider surgery, the patient should feel that arthritis pain causes some or all of the following issues. Their knee pain:
- Measurably impacts everyday activities, causing them patient to stay in the house more or avoid activity altogether
- Makes them unable to go up and down stairs
- Makes a cane necessary
- Does not respond to pain-relief medications and they feel the pain on an hourly basis
- Causes trouble sleeping at night
Before considering knee replacement, the patient should have X-rays that show bone touching bone somewhere in the knee. Patients who have thinning of the cartilage but not bone touching bone should not undergo knee replacement surgery, except in rare circumstances.
As knee arthritis progresses, the knee becomes much looser and more unstable. In some cases, this is mild. In other cases, it is substantial enough that cause the patient to fall.
Patients who have bone-on-bone arthritis and are starting to fall because of it should strongly consider surgery.