A knee replacement surgery can restore function to those that suffer from knee joint degeneration. When knee replacement surgery is performed, the surgeon will cut away all damaged bone from the thigh, shin and kneecap. This damaged bone will be replaced with a artificial joint.
Artificial knee joints have come a long way from the basic hinge joints of long ago. There are artificial knee joints available that will fit your age and lifestyle. These joints attempt to mimic your knee’s natural ability to roll and glide as it bends.
If you are wondering if you qualify for a knee replacement, you should understand the specific criteria that your doctor will take into account before recommending surgery.
A knee replacement may be beneficial to you if you have pain that limits your daily activities. Activities that may cause pain in a person with bad knees are walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of a chair. You may even experience moderate to severe knee pain when at rest. These conditions would qualify you for knee replacement surgery.
Knee replacement surgery may be in order if you have tried other methods to relieve symptoms and these methods failed to make an improvement. Some of these methods may have included rest, physical therapy, weight loss, medications, braces or walking aids.
Your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery if you have chronic knee stiffness and swelling that prevents you from bending or straightening your knee. This chronic stiffness will greatly limit your mobility and your activity level.
Your doctor may take your age into consideration before he recommends knee replacement. A young, active, person may not be a good candidate for knee replacement surgery. This is because a younger person will wear out their new knee much faster than an older person. Therefore, a person over the age of fifty five has the advantage when it comes to qualifying for a knee replacement.
There are other reasons that a person may need a knee replacement. Sometimes the only way to correct a deformity of the knee is to replace it.
Regardless of the reason for knee replacement surgery, the number one criteria that a patient must meet is that they are healthy enough to go through the surgery. Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic infections or restricted blood flow to your lower extremities will interfere with proper healing.
There are certain risks involved with this surgery. Complications from a knee replacement surgery may include infection, blood clots, heart attack, nerve damage or stroke. Make sure you discuss these risks thoroughly with your doctor before you agree to the surgery.
If you are suffering from knee pain and are in relatively good health, talk with your doctor about your options. A knee replacement surgery may be the best thing for you.
Mayoclinic: Knee Replacement
Cleveland Clinic: Advances in Knee Replacement Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery: Partial Knee Replacement
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Healthcare: Development of Explicit Criteria for Total Knee Replacement
Canadian Journal of Surgery: Developing Priority Criteria for Hip and Knee Replacement
Quality in Health Care: PRimary Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery
Quality in HealthCare: Primary Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery