If your experience with a knee replacement is like that of most of our patients, you’ll make the decision to have the surgery only after some time has passed. New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer rarely meets a patient who has a knee or a hip replacement and doesn’t say after the surgery that they should have had the surgery long before they did.
It’s a simple question to ask yourself: Are other, non-surgical treatments giving you enough relief? Or despite the treatments, do you have to restrict your life in ways that make you unhappy? No one likes to have surgery, but are you fooling yourself that your knees are not that bad?
One day you’ll tell yourself that enough is enough.
Some things to consider when thinking about knee replacement surgery.
You may want to consider knee replacement sooner rather than later if one or more of the following statements applies to you:
- You are unable to complete normal daily tasks without help.
- You have significant pain daily.
- Pain keeps you awake at night despite the use of medications.
- Nonsurgical approaches — such as medications, the use of a cane and physical therapy — have not relieved your pain.
- Less complicated surgical procedures (such as knee arthroscopy) are unlikely to help.
- Pain keeps you from walking or engaging in other activities.
- Pain doesn’t stop when you rest.
- You can’t bend or straighten your knee.
- You are suffering severe side effects from the medications for your joint symptoms.
The ideal candidate for joint replacement surgery is in good general health and not overweight. During joint replacement surgery, your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon removes damaged bone and joint tissue and then replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal or ceramic.
Together, you and your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon must weigh the benefits and risks of joint replacement. (Keep in mind that the average artificial joint lasts for about 15 to 20 years.)
Knee replacements work well for many people, but patients need to have realistic expectations about what joint replacement surgery will and won’t do for them. A new knee should help you return to normal activities for your age, but you won’t be able to do more than you could before osteoarthritis interfered with your activities.
The major consistent benefit of joint replacement is substantial relief from pain. If you are suffering from knee pain and want to know if knee replacement surgery is right for you, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a consultation. Enough is enough!