If you've been dealing with chronic knee pain, you might be wondering if a total knee replacement is right for you. At Ortho 1 Medical Group with offices in San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, and La Jolla, California, we understand it’s not always easy to understand what therapy is best.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are committed to helping patients understand their options when it comes to treating chronic knee pain. Keep reading as we take a closer look at what’s involved with a total knee replacement and when it might be the best option for you.
Understanding total knee replacements
You might be wondering what exactly a total knee replacement involves. Commonly known as knee arthroplasty, a total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the worn-out or damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts.
These parts, typically made of metal or plastic, are designed to simulate the natural movement of your knee, offering relief from pain and restoring function. This procedure is all about making your daily movements more manageable and pain-free.
Reasons you might need a total knee replacement
There isn’t one reason people benefit from total knee replacement. There are several different issues that can contribute to the wearing away of this important joint, including:
- Osteoarthritis: As a wear-and-tear type of arthritis, osteoarthritis erodes joint cartilage, leading to pain when bone grinds on bone
- Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease that can cause joint inflammation, damaging your knee
- Post-traumatic arthritis: Arthritis that develops after a significant knee injury, resulting in persistent pain
- Bone deformities: Bone conditions that can lead to knee damage over time
It's essential to understand that while these conditions can make knee replacements more likely, the final decision always depends on a combination of factors. For this reason, it’s important to seek the opinion of a knee specialist, like the team at Ortho 1 Medical Group.
Signs a total knee replacement can help you
If you're considering a total knee replacement, the best way to know if it’s the right therapy for you is by meeting with a knee replacement specialist. In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the most common signs that you might be a good candidate for this treatment:
- Persistent pain: You have pain that's not just occasional but continuous, even disrupting sleep
- Daily activities hindered: Simple tasks, whether it's walking or climbing stairs, have become a source of dread due to pain
- Joint stiffness: Your knee gets stiff after periods of inactivity or rest
- Other therapies aren’t working: Medications, physical therapy, injections, and lifestyle modifications aren’t enough to manage your pain
- X-ray evidence: There’s evidence of advanced arthritis or significant joint damage on X-ray imaging
Keep in mind that these aren’t strict criteria for a total knee replacement, but rather guidelines or signs that it’s time to talk about your options with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Your Ortho 1 Medical Group provider creates a personalized knee treatment plan based on your needs.
An expert can provide you with a comprehensive evaluation. With advanced tools, they can determine the severity of joint damage. It's not always about surgery right away. There might be other treatments to explore that could benefit you.
At Ortho 1 Medical Group, your well-being is our utmost priority. If knee issues have been weighing on your mind, remember that help is just around the corner.
For an expert opinion on your knee pain and the best course of treatment, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at Ortho 1 Medical Group at the San Diego area location most convenient to you.