knee replacement | When to Consider Surgery

Knee injuries and arthritis can leave your articulations severely damaged. Even apparently simple activities in your day-to-day may seem challenging. Climbing the stairs can be a pain, and walking becomes quite difficult. Your knee feels stiff when you’re trying to use it, and you feel pain lying down and sitting. Do you need a prosthesis knee?

Before thinking about knee replacement surgery, you need to go through other options. And if your doctor is considering this surgery, you probably want to know why. This article will help you find the answers you need to take the next step.

We will go through knee replacement surgery and its alternatives. Why would you get it replaced? We will give you the medical criteria and the signs and symptoms you should look after before making up your mind.

What is knee replacement about?

Knee replacement surgery is also known as knee arthroplasty. Another name is knee resurfacing, which is very accurate because the bones are not replaced as a whole. Only the surface is remodeled through metal implant placement.

The procedure of this surgery includes four steps. They are:

  • Bone preparation: In this step, doctors locate the damaged cartilage and remove them. They will also remove a minimal portion of bone.
  • Metal implant positioning: Right after, the metal components are placed on the surface of the tibia and femur.
  • Patella resurfacing: Next, the kneecap or patella can be resurfaced. In some cases, this step is necessary. In others, it is not.
  • Creation of a gliding surface: Doctors would now insert a plastic spacer. It is placed between the metal surfaces, creating a smooth surface.

Knee replacement surgery is a treatment you should decide on with your doctor. Your family should also be able to help because you will need to go through a difficult recovery period.

Before surgery, you will need to go through an evaluation that includes:

  • Cardiopulmonary evaluation: It is how doctors predict what will happen during anesthesia. If your heart and lung function are fine, you will withstand anesthesia without a problem.
  • Lab studies: They are critical, too. Doctors will assess your blood clotting capacity and your kidney function. A complete blood count is also helpful in ruling out anemia.
  • Imaging studies: You will have to go through different knee radiographs. Imaging studies of your lungs are also essential to rule out any infection or potential respiratory problem.

These exams will help your doctor decide if you are a suitable candidate for total knee replacement or not.

Now, let’s discuss knee replacement alternatives you can try first.