When Should Knee Replacement Surgery Be Considered?
Conservative non-operative treatments are the first choice to manage an osteoarthritic knee condition. We have a list of the symptoms signaling that it may be time to consider surgery.
What happens in an arthritic joint?
Arthritis is a disease process in which joint tissues become inflamed and the cushion of cartilage lining the ends of the bones begins to deteriorate. As the cartilage becomes thinner, the symptoms progress. The joint becomes painful to move, and the supporting muscles gradually become weaker.
Conservative treatment options
A variety of conservative treatments can slow or manage the symptoms of this condition. Some patients do very well with conservative treatments, and never have to confront the possibility of surgery. For others, the disease gradually becomes less responsive to conservative treatments, and increasing joint limitations take a toll on quality of life.
Signs to watch for
There is no hard and fast rule about when it’s time to consider total knee arthroplasty. However, it’s good to know the symptoms that indicate it may be time to sit down with your orthopedic surgeon and consider a knee replacement.
- Nonsurgical interventions including physical therapy and medication no longer control your pain.
- Knee pain prevents you from sleeping.
- Activities like climbing stairs, walking, and getting in and out of chairs and bathtubs become difficult.
- You experience aching in your knee, followed by periods of relative relief.
- Extensive use of your knee triggers pain.
- Your knee is stiff or swollen following periods of inactivity or rest.
- Humid or rainy weather increases your knee pain.
- Your mobility has decreased to the point that it is affecting your ability to perform normal activities.
- You feel a grating sensation in your knee joint.
At Summit, we create a conservative treatment plan intended to delay knee replacement in favor of less invasive treatments for as long as function can be maintained, and pain can be controlled. However, when your pain is no longer controlled and your quality of life is affected, total knee arthroplasty can provide pain relief and a return to your normal activities and quality of life.
When to seek treatment for your arthritis
Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. If you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of only two surgery centers nationally to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
More resources for you
“As a hip and knee specialist, an orthopedic surgeon, and the President of Summit Orthopedics, I’m dedicated to providing patients with the highest level of care available. Our expertise extends beyond orthopedic care. We’re enabling people to live the lives they love.”
“An active lifestyle requires superior physical function, and I understand that my patients have exceptionally high standards for their performance and joint health. My goal is to return patients to optimal function so that they can continue to perform and master their personal athletic goals.”
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