Knee Replacement Symptoms: Top Signs You May Need Surgery
When knee pain, stiffness, or injury strikes, one of the last things you’d expect your medical provider to mention is knee replacement surgery. The thought of the procedure may leave you feeling wary. However, surgery is safe and highly effective at reducing pain for over 90 percent of total knee replacement patients, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).
You may be in search of answers about what signs indicate you may benefit from knee replacement surgery. Review the following information about knee replacement surgery and the symptoms that mean it might be the right solution for you.
What Is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery (knee arthroplasty) is a procedure that removes damaged bone, cartilage, muscle and other tissues from the knee and nearby areas of the thigh and shin to make way for the installation of prosthetic material. The replacement knee is made of metal, medical polymers, and surgical plastics and works just like a natural knee.
The procedure is typically reserved for individuals suffering from severe and persistent knee pain or limited range of motion that alternative treatments, such as steroids and injections or therapy fail to improve.
Knee arthroplasty is done to replace the entire knee joint or certain portions. The type of knee replacement necessary is determined by each person’s individual condition. Many factors are taken into consideration before recommendations are given for knee replacement surgery, including patient medical history, past treatments and outcomes, and current health concerns.
Traditional Knee Replacement Surgery
Traditional knee replacement surgery involves several incisions, each up to 12 inches long, in the patient’s leg so the surgeon can remove the damaged portions of the knee and replace them with a prosthesis.
After the procedure is complete, patients can expect to spend a short time as an inpatient at the hospital before discharge home to complete their recoveries. The average time it takes most patients to heal and get back to their usual activities with less pain and better mobility is 12 weeks.
Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement at White Rock Medical Center
Knee replacement also can be performed with a new minimally invasive technology called the ROSA Knee System. Robotic-assisted knee arthroplasty enables the surgeon to perform the procedure with better accuracy and precision by mapping each individual patient’s knee. That means your surgery becomes personalized and more precise. There’s no need for large incisions or extensive surgical manipulation to install the implant or prosthesis. As a result, you should generally retain more healthy bone, cartilage and muscle tissue. People who have knee replacement surgery with the ROSA Knee System also usually experience far less pain and discomfort after the procedure, throughout their recovery and beyond.
Benefits of minimally invasive knee replacement via the technologically advanced ROSA Knee System can include:
Better Results: Robotic-assisted surgery offers benefits that include minimally invasive, shorter recovery time, less time in the hospital, less healing time and pain, less scarring, and reduced risks that come with avoiding conventional, open surgical techniques. These factors all have a significant impact on your outcome and success.
Enhances Surgeon Skill: The key phrase is: robotic-assisted surgery. With the ROSA Knee System, the surgeon is always in control while performing the procedure. At no time does a machine operate on a human.
Knee replacement with this technology is so advanced that it’s not offered everywhere. The ROSA Knee System requires a high level of skill and training that’s beyond the expertise of what many hospitals offer. Fortunately, White Rock Medical Center now has the ROSA Knee System and experienced orthopedic specialists. In fact, White Rock Medical Center has the only ROSA Knee System inside I-635, bringing state-of-the-art surgical technology close to home for the central and East Dallas communities.
Symptoms Not to Ignore
Persistent Stiffness: Knee stiffness that occurs due to an underlying or chronic ailment like arthritis, injury, or an unknown cause can be troublesome to manage. Moving and bending your knees shouldn’t bring stiffness or resistance that may also be accompanied by pain.
Many people with inflammatory conditions or arthritis tend to experience flares in which their limbs are not as pliable as normal. Stiffness often comes and goes. With arthritis, the stiffness usually lingers and becomes worse. While there are medications that can help slow down the progression of arthritis and reduce inflammation so there’s less resistance when bending the knees, surgery is often necessary at some point. Find an orthopedic doctor who can help you create a treatment plan, including minimally invasive procedures, if needed.
Pain: Knee pain can be difficult to live with, especially if it occurs more often than not. For some people, the most common reaction is to “baby” their knees or avoid using them as often. They may even spend more time sitting than usual. While this may help reduce pain for some individuals, it can make the condition worse and cause the joints to freeze or lock up.
There are many pain medications that can help alleviate knee pain. However, they may not provide enough or long-term relief for some. If you experience knee pain that seems to be getting worse or persists when you’re at rest or not using your legs, it is time to consult an orthopedist who can help you determine if it’s time for knee replacement surgery.
If Conventional Treatments Fail: Surgery is often advised as a last resort and reserved for advanced cases. When it comes to knee pain, stiffness, and injuries, patients often undergo treatment regimens that include various medications, such as anti-inflammatories, pain analgesics, steroids, injections, and physical therapy. Depending on where you are in your treatment plan, surgery may become a viable option that can provide immense relief.
Is Knee Replacement Surgery Right for You?
Making the decision to have surgery, especially to replace your knees may seem difficult. However, knee replacement surgery that utilizes the most advanced techniques, like robotic-assisted, minimally invasive methods, can improve range of motion, reduce pain and stiffness and also improve quality of life.
At White Rock Medical Center we pride ourselves on our commitment to providing safe, quality medical care. And that includes leveraging state-of-the-art technology to deliver it. Our surgical technology rivals other major hospital systems and combined with our orthopedic expertise, you can have quality care with the latest advancements to get you back to living the life you want.
To learn more about knee replacement surgery and how our advanced surgical technologies can benefit your situation, contact us about our orthopedic services today.