For many people these days, the expectation of retiring at age 65 is not achievable, and they are now facing the reality of extending the number of years they remain in the workplace. Because of this, New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer is finding that many people feel that postponing a life-changing procedure like a knee replacement is their only option in order to avoid time away from their jobs.
But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 percent of women age 65+ are still in the workforce, and it’s at that age that the effects of arthritis of the knee are drastically increased.
A new study has found that 99 percent of women and 95 percent of men who decided to undergo knee replacement surgery were able to return to the workplace following the operation. These numbers are very promising because time away work after knee replacement surgery has dropped significantly over the past decade due in part to technological advances and better rehabilitation processes.
According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeons, total knee replacement surgery involves removing the affected parts and replacing the knee joint with new, artificial parts. The muscles, tendons and ligaments around the knee remain in place to provide stability for the new joint.
An artificial joint is typically made of metal and/or polyethylene plastic. A new knee joint can be attached to existing bone using special cement or through a technique that allows existing bone to grow into the metal surface, thereby locking it in place.
Other options to knee replacement surgery include:
- Home exercises;
- Physical therapy;
- Over-the-counter or prescription medications;
- Topical ointments;
- Knee sleeves or braces;
Many patients simply get tired of injection therapies and pain medications before they finally decide to take the next step. Minimally invasive surgical techniques now allow patients to heal faster and high tech hips and knees are lasting longer and changing lives like never before.
It’s a huge quality of life improvement for a majority of patients, and it’s very rewarding to be involved with both as an orthopedic surgeon and to see our patients improve. If you’re experiencing any knee pain and are considering a knee replacement, schedule an appointment with your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to discuss which options are best for you.