Knee Pain – How to Determine If You Need a Knee Replacement
When trying to determine whether your at the point if you need a knee replacement or not, one of the first steps you will want to take is to have through orthopedic consultation with your surgeon to determine if you are a candidate to begin with. At this point the knee pain should have been dealt with using conservative measures.
Initially your knee pain will have brought you to an orthopedic surgeon who may have prescribed physical therapy to start with. There you would have received treatment that dealt with a combination of modalities and exercises that will be targeted at the root cause. Knee pain can be brought on by injury, osteoarthritis, or general weakness where your muscles that protect the joint are not doing their job any longer.
Once you have tried all the conservative measures to hopefully decrease your pain including synvisc injections for instance to create a larger joint space, and if no relief is obtained or is just temporary lasting a couple of weeks to a month, than it may be time to get your knee replacement.
Orthopedic surgeons confront this issue almost everyday in the office with their patients. Patients generally will ask when is the appropriate time to get their knee replaced. Most surgeons will inform you that you will know.
I can tell you from first hand experience that I knew precisely when it was time to get my knee replaced. I knew for instance it was time when I could not walk more than 100 feet before I was looking for a place to sit. I also knew it was time for a replacement when the pain became so unbearable that I would forego leaving my home unless it was absolutely necessary. Driving a car can also be a challenge when you are sitting in the driver’s seat with your knee on the affected leg constantly in a flexed positioned causing you extreme pain and muscle spasm.
Sleeping at night can become a troublesome event as well. When you cannot sleep due to excessive knee pain or find that you have to consume large quantities of pain relievers to help you sleep,than you know it is about time to get the knee replaced.
Your orthopedic surgeon however will steer you in the right direction just by looking at x-rays and your ability to walk and function on a daily basis. If your x-rays show that your knee compartment is in a condition known as bone on bone than there is not much more that can be done at least until stem cell replacement is perfected.
At that point it would benefit you to get the knee replaced as soon as possible. By prolonging the surgery all you are doing is causing more damage to the joint and surrounding musculature and, setting yourself up for a difficult rehabilitation.
Once the knee is replaced you will than say why did I wait so long to get this done.