How do I know if I need knee replacement surgery?
If you have a knee which is causing pain, instability or stiffness – and these symptoms are affecting your everyday life – it may be that you are a suitable candidate for knee replacement surgery.
In this blog, we will assess when knee replacement surgery can be the best treatment option and run through some of the key benefits of the procedure. But before we do that, we’ll look at the main types of knee replacement surgery.
What are the different types of knee replacement surgery
– Total knee replacement – this is a procedure which usually involves the replacement of the joint surface situated at the end of the femur (thigh bone) and the joint surface situated at the top of the tibia (shin bone). The operation can also involve the replacement of the patella’s (knee cap) under surface with a plastic ‘dome’. In some cases, the natural patella is preserved. This decision can be made while the procedure is in progress.
– Unicompartmental partial knee replacement – this procedure is generally advised when only one of the knee’s three compartments – inner, outer and the kneecap – is affected. It is a smaller operation than a total knee replacement, and is minimally invasive, and thus offers the benefits of a shorter recovery time.
– Kneecap replacement – this entails the replacement of the knee cap’s under surface and the trochlea (its groove) for cases in which these are the only affected parts of the knee. It should be noted that this operation is only suitable for a small share of those with conditions affecting the knee. The procedure is also known as a patellofemoral joint arthroplasty.
– Complex knee replacement – also known as a revision knee replacement, this can be needed if you are having the latest in a series of replacements in the same knee, or for cases in which the knee is very badly affected.
Do I need knee replacement surgery?
So now we know exactly what knee replacement surgery is, let’s talk about when you need it. In many cases, those who need knee replacement surgery have arthritis of the knee – a condition which involves the wearing away of the knee cartilage. This causes the bones to rub against each other.
It’s important to understand – just because you have arthritis of the knee, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need knee replacement surgery. But if your knee has become damaged by the condition, and symptoms such as pain, instability and stiffness are hampering your daily life, it can be considered an option.
Knee replacement surgery can increase stability and improve the mobility of the knee joint, by replacing hard cartilage and the worn bone ends with plastic or metal parts.
Benefits of knee replacement surgery
Let’s wrap up with some quick-fire benefits of knee replacement surgery for suitable candidates:
– Relieves pain
– High success rates
– Improves mobility
– Can allow you to resume daily activities and pastimes such as sport
So there you have it; some important information about knee replacement surgery. Remember – whether you are suitable for the procedure, and if so, which type of procedure, will be determined by your individual condition.