knee replacement | When to Consider Surgery

Are you a candidate?

There are medical indications for knee replacement surgery. They include:

Disabling pain: It is one of the most important indications of knee replacement surgery. It usually happens in people with severe arthritis and osteoarthritis pain. Their pain is very severe and becomes a cause of disability. They typically feel night pain, and their symptoms severely reduce their quality of life.

Deformity of the articulation: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis often undergo deformation of the articulations after a while. Even osteoarthritis patients may experience the same in a later stage of the disease. This is an important indication for knee replacement surgery but not the most common because patients now rarely reach this stage of the disease.

Joint space reduction: Before planning your knee replacement surgery, you need to undergo a few imaging tests, as mentioned above. One of the reasons is to measure joint space levels. This measure is essential for doctors because it provides an objective look at how severe the disease really is. As joint space reduces, both ends of the bones in the articulation are closer, and there’s a higher chance they meet and create erosion. As the surfaces erode, the articulation pain becomes worse.

Older adults with reduced mobility: One of the most common candidates are older adults who do not engage in strenuous physical activity. It is because knee replacement has a limited operating life. They may need to be replaced when the activity level is very high. Thus, this surgery is more commonly recommended in older adults. In this population, it is essential to consider cardiopulmonary health very closely to make sure they are candidates for surgery without added risks.

Young patients after post-traumatic arthritis: Younger patients can also be candidates for knee replacement surgery. However, they should learn about the longevity and limitations of joint replacement. In most cases, these young patients endured trauma in the past, ending up with inflammation and chronic destruction of the articulation.

Varus or valgus laxity: In some cases, there is a significant deformity of the articulation of the knee. In some cases, the deformity causes damage to the articulation. One of such cases is varus or values laxity, which may prompt knee prosthesis as one of the treatments. These cases require a particular type of prosthesis. Otherwise, the long-term survival of the surgery will be uncertain.