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How Can You Tell You May Need a Knee Replacement?

Posted on in Pain, Surgery

Knee replacements are among the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States, with 719,000 performed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When knee pain interferes with your everyday activities, it may be time to consider surgical intervention. Your Jacksonville orthopedic surgeon can help you determine whether a knee replacement is right for you.

Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries

There are two main options for knee replacement: total and partial. In a total knee replacement, your orthopedic surgeon will replace the surfaces of the end of the femur (thigh bone) as well as the top of the tibia (shin bone). This completes an entirely new knee joint that reduces friction and pain associated with movement. The majority of knee surgeries performed in the United States are total knee replacements.knee replacement surgery

A partial knee replacement involves just one part of the knee. Often, this is the inner side of the knee, although the outer side or kneecap may be affected. In a partial knee replacement, your orthopedic specialist makes a smaller incision using minimally invasive procedures. This often results in a shorter recovery time.

Signs That You May Need a Knee Replacement

Knee pain is a common complaint of aging. However, severe pain may be a sign that you need a knee replacement. Some of the most common signs that you need a knee replacement include:

  • Decreased mobility or difficulty moving around
  • Pain that persists or recurs over time
  • Aching pain in your knees, particularly during or after exercise
  • Feelings of knee stiffness after sitting for a long period of time, such as in a car or movie theater
  • Knee pain that interrupts your sleep
  • Knee aching or pain during rainy weather
  • Difficulty bending the knee fully or noticing a decreased range of motion in the joint
  • Stiff or swollen knees
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Difficulty getting into and out of bathtubs or chairs
  • Knee stiffness in the morning that typically lasts less than 30 minutes
  • A “grating” or “grinding” feeling in the knee joint

Some of these symptoms may be managed through the use of a cane, medications or non-pharmacological approaches to pain management. However, if the use of medications or a cane does not alleviate symptoms, it may be time to get a knee replacement.

Getting a Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

To see if you need a knee replacement, contact our Jacksonville orthopedic surgeons at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists. Following a comprehensive evaluation, your surgeon can help you decide if knee replacement is appropriate for you.

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