Your body is designed to withstand the normal wear-and-tear of everyday living and can even handle some not-so-normal abuse. But over time, it becomes less resilient and may not bounce back to full functionality.
Your knees, the largest joints in your body, undergo an inordinate amount of stress as they support your full body weight while performing movements both small and large. This often results in both acute and chronic pain as well as limited mobility. But is total knee replacement necessary?
Our team at The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre gets asked this question a lot. And the answer, of course, depends on many factors. If you need a knee replacement, we guide you through the entire process from diagnosis and discussing options for treatment to surgery and rehabilitation. Here’s how to determine if you might need a total knee replacement.
The pain doesn’t stop
Knee pain can literally stop you in your tracks. Whether it comes on suddenly or you’ve been battling it for years, your primary goal — and ours — is to stop the pain.
If you’ve sustained an ACL or meniscus tear, severe sprains or strains, osteoarthritis, bursitis, or any other knee injury, that damage can leave you with lingering debilitating pain that doesn’t go away even after your injury has healed. Your knee even hurts while it’s at rest. This nonstop pain is one of the indicators that a total knee replacement is in your future.
Nothing else works
At The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre, surgery is never our first step. We start with conservative treatments first, like the RICE approach (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), as well as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and orthotics.
Often, these treatments offer immediate relief from your knee pain. When they don’t, we begin exploring other options, including knee replacement surgery.
What total knee replacement surgery involves
Total knee replacement resurfaces the bones in your knee and adds an implant to serve as the new joint. Our expert orthopedic surgeons specialize in minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to treat joint problems as well as perform joint replacements. We also use computer-assisted surgery.
The first step when replacing the knee joint is the preparation process. We remove any damaged cartilage at the ends of your tibia and femur and shave away a little bit of the bone on the surface.
Next, we insert a metal implant that takes the place of your old, damaged bone surfaces. Depending on what we find during surgery, we may also need to resurface the underside of your patella (kneecap).
Finally, we insert a smooth plastic spacer so the new metal parts glide easily, restoring proper function to your knee joint.
Back to life
After total knee replacement surgery and rehabilitation, our patients report vast improvement, including greatly reduced or eliminated pain and significantly increased mobility. In fact, knee replacement procedures across the country have a 90% success rate.
If you’d like to join the ranks of those who’ve walked away from chronic knee pain, contact us to find out if you’re a candidate for total knee replacement. Call us today, or book your appointment online.