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Best Time to Get Your Knee Replaced

Total knee joint replacement in Atlanta is generally considered a last resort for patients who have been struggling with chronic knee pain and mobility issues. When more conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, and injections, don’t work, the doctor may recommend knee replacement. Although this surgery is extremely successful and there’s low risk of complications, it’s a big decision for patients to make. If you’re considering having this knee surgery, here are some things you and the surgeon will consider.

Man with knee pain

No Pain Improvement with Non-Operative Therapy

If you’ve been struggling with pain for a long time and the pain isn’t getting any better despite undergoing other treatments, the best option may be to replace the knee. Some pain simply can’t be eliminated without removing the diseased or deteriorated joint. When the pain is caused by osteoarthritis, it’s unlikely that other treatments will significantly reduce your pain, since the cartilage has worn away and there’s no longer cushioning between the bones making up the knee joint. Replacing the joint substantially reduces pain in patients, and most report no joint pain after recovering from the surgery.

Knee Pain While Resting

Many people experience knee pain with movement, but in some people the pain can become so severe it hurts even when resting. If the knee hurts even when you’re not walking, running, standing, or participating in other exercise, it might be time for a replacement. Knee pain when resting is especially concerning if you’re experiencing pain when there’s no weight placed on the knee or when you’re sleeping.

Reduced Quality of Life

One of the biggest factors the surgeon will consider is what your quality of life is like. If you’re unable to do daily tasks, such as bathing, driving, or walking, there’s a higher risk of emotional or mental health problems in addition to the physical issues you’re experiencing. If you have a desire to be more physically active but find it difficult or impossible, a knee replacement is often the best option to helping you maintain good overall health. A knee replacement will offer long-lasting results to help you regain the quality of life you desire.

Deformities

If your knee is deformed either from injury or from the swelling of arthritis, you may be a candidate for surgery to help restore mobility. A deformity makes it difficult for the joint to work properly. An X-ray can see the extent of bone on bone contact caused by bone spurs or other deformities. Removing the old joint and replacing it with a prosthetic joint improves both the function and appearance of the knee because it removes deformities, even if they were present at birth. In addition to deformities, constantly swollen knees that don’t respond to other treatments may need this surgery to remove the damaged and inflamed tissue causing the swelling and stiffness. Legs that bow in or out can also often be corrected by replacing the affected joint.

What to Expect

Once you’ve decided to have orthopedic knee replacement in Atlanta, there are some things you should know about the procedure. The procedure itself only takes an hour. Many patients can go home the same day of surgery, with the rest going home within 23 hours. Physical therapy begins the same day as surgery as well. Flexibility and pain should improve a lot over the next month with regular physical therapy, and many patients feel fully recovered by six weeks, although you’ll likely need extra time before returning to certain physical activities. To talk to an orthopedic specialist about your knee pain, make an appointment with Piedmont Orthopedics | OrthoAtlanta today. Call 770-953-6929.

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