My Knee Pain Is Aggravating
Knee arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the joints of the knee are painful and swollen. There is no cure for this condition but there are treatments that can be taken to ease the pain. When conservative treatments fail, the surgeon performs surgery such as total joint replacement. While getting treated initially, sometimes the symptoms do not improve and one needs to be aware of the important signs.
1. Unsuccessful non-surgical therapies
Current medical treatments for knee arthritis are pain medications, low-impact exercises, physical therapy, steroid injections, and maintaining a healthy weight. Rest, heat or cold application, and using devices such as a brace may help in pain relief. Failed medical treatments mean that the knee arthritis is not improving and surgery may be recommended by the doctor. The common surgery performed is total joint replacement.
2. Limits daily activities
Severe knee pain or stiffness that interferes with everyday activities such as walking and climbing stairs mostly likely needs surgery. Knee arthritis makes even walking a few blocks extremely painful. Sometimes, assisted devices such as a walking cane may be required. Moderate or severe pain can be unbearable at night or during the day while resting.
3. My knee has an unusual look
As time progresses, the knee does not heal and the shape of the knee changes. Knee deformity is one of the signs that surgery may be needed. The knee bows in and out of the leg.
Do I need total joint replacement?
The orthopedic surgeon will decide based on the knee condition and the severity of the symptoms. Usually, surgery is needed if medical treatments fail, knee arthritis impacts daily life, and the knee is deformed. Most patients who do total joint replacement (TJR) are older. However, TJR has shown positive outcomes in any age group. Many patients who undergo surgery have a reduction in knee pain and can perform daily activities much better.
Is there a negative side to it?
After treating knee arthritis with TJR, there are some possible complications. Every patient’s body heals differently so, the chance of getting complications is unknown. Some risks include chronic pain, infection, blood clots, implant problems, and damage to adjacent nerves or blood vessels.
Protecting my knee after surgery
After surgery, one needs to know how to protect and take care of knee replacement to avoid future complications. A few tips include doing low-impact exercises, mobilizing the knee, and avoiding falls. Follow-up examinations and x-rays are also recommended to check the health of the knee. Taking good care of knee replacement gives good results, as most knee replacements last for at least 15 years. Make sure to follow the orthopedic doctor’s instructions on how to take precautions.