Total Knee Replacement: Do You Need It?

Your knees are the largest weight-bearing joints in your body and they play a crucial role in your mobility. The more you weigh, the stronger the stress on your knees. When the knee joints are damaged, performing simple everyday activities, such as walking, running, climbing stairs, or even bending your knees to sit on a chair become painful and laborious.

Obesity is a major factor in the development of knee-related diseases. In fact, research has shown that in obese patients with knee osteoarthritis, weight loss is directly related to the reduction in the knee joint load. For this reason, non-surgical means of managing knee-related diseases not only include pharmacological treatment, but also lifestyle modifications (diet and exercise).

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Common causes of chronic knee pain

The following types of arthritis are the most common causes of chronic knee pain:

  • Osteoarthritis

This is the most common type of arthritis characterized by wearing away of the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the knee joint. The breakdown of the cartilage makes the bones rub against each other, leading to knee pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Osteoarthritis is age-related and usually affects older adults, but it can also occur in younger people.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

This is an autoimmune type of arthritis wherein the patient’s immune system attacks the synovial membrane, or the soft tissue that lines the joints. This leads to inflammation and thickening of the synovial membrane. Long-term inflammation leads to joint pain, swelling, damage, and loss of function.

  • Post-traumatic arthritis

This occurs after an injury to the knee, which can tear the surrounding knee ligaments and cartilage. Over time, joint damage, knee pain, and loss of function can occur.

If nonsurgical means, such as lifestyle changes, medications, and mobility aids are no longer helpful, the next option you need to consider is a knee replacement surgery.

Do you need knee replacement surgery?

Total knee replacement is a type of total joint replacement surgery wherein the damaged, weight-bearing part of the knee joint is replaced with metal implants and plastic spacers.

Before you undergo a knee replacement surgery, you should talk it over with your family members, physician, and orthopedic surgeon.

Generally, your doctor will recommend a knee replacement depending on the severity of your symptoms and disability. If you feel any of the following, you might benefit from a total knee replacement:

  • Moderate to severe knee pain even while resting, regardless of the time of the day
  • Obvious knee deformity—the knee is bowing in or out
  • Severe knee stiffness and debilitating pain that disrupts your daily activities. Walking and climbing stairs can cause significant pain
  • Long-term knee swelling and inflammation not relieved by medications or rest
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and lubricating injections have failed to improve your condition.

Knee doctor in Holly Springs, Garner, Raleigh, Morrisville, and Cary

Our knee doctors in Raleigh Orthopedic Clinic have years of experience in managing and treating knee joint complications. Annually, they have collectively performed nearly 2,000 joint replacements. For diagnosis and treatment services, you may get a referral to Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic. But you can also make an appointment on your own

For your convenience, our services are offered at all of our clinic locations in the Triangle. To schedule an appointment with our knee doctor at one of our clinics, please call (919) 863-6808.

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.