Arthritis: Should I Have Knee Replacement Surgery?

There are several types of arthritis that can affect your knee such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. In general, the edges of the shin and thigh bones contain hard cartilage that lets the easy movement of bones. But if you have arthritis, the hard cartilage gets damaged and becomes thin. As a result, your bones get rubbed against each other and get damaged.

But everyone who has arthritis may not need knee replacement surgery. But if the knee gets damaged and is affecting your daily activities, then you should consider undergoing knee replacement surgery.

Who Needs Knee Replacement Surgery?

Before considering knee replacement surgery, your doctor will try other non-surgical treatments such as medications, weight loss, physiotherapy, etc. If these treatments start working, you can wait for some more time to reduce your signs. As mentioned earlier, every patient who has arthritis does not necessarily require knee replacement surgery unless they have the following:

  • Severe knee pain: If you have severe knee pain that obstructs your daily activities and it did not reduce with non-surgical methods, then surgery might be required.
  • Moderate to severe arthritis: Medical tests such as imaging tests are used to determine the level of arthritis you have.
  • Mobility: People who find difficulty while walking, climbing stairs, and sitting and getting out of the chair can also be a sign of surgery.
  • Knee deformity: Patients who have bow-legs or knock-knees also need to undergo knee replacement surgery.
  • Knee swelling and inflammation: If you have chronic swelling of the knee and inflammation and you did not feel better with medications, then consider surgery.

Though having above mentioned signs or symptoms indicate the need for knee replacement surgery, the doctor will consider other factors too to decide if surgery is right for you.

Who Cannot Undergo Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery may not be recommended for people with the following issues:

  • Infection: People who have infections can be at risk after knee replacement surgery. In some cases, it can be life-threatening.
  • Neuromuscular disorders: Neuromuscular disorders affect the soft tissues and muscles around the knee. These tissues are very important for the functioning of the knee and hence the success rate of the surgery can get affected.
  • Certain medical conditions: People who have certain medical conditions may have complications with anesthesia that is given during surgery. In some cases, it can be life-threatening.
  • Skin conditions: Patients who have skin issues such as psoriasis may not be able to recover faster from the surgery. They are also at high risk of developing infections.
  • Mild arthritis: If your arthritis is not affecting your daily activities, you do not necessarily need surgery.

Patients who have certain medical conditions should focus on resolving those conditions before undergoing knee replacement surgery. Some of the medical conditions include:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Morbid obesity
  • Chronic vascular disease
  • Loose teeth, cavities
  • People who smoke or use nicotine substances
  • Insufficient nutrition

People who undergo knee replacement surgery are mostly above 60 years of age. If you had a knee replacement surgery in the past, then you might mostly need a further surgery. Doctors suggest considering knee replacement surgery before the knee becomes stiff or deformed. This is because the success rate is high if surgery is considered before the knee gets damaged.

Confused if Knee Replacement Surgery is Suitable for You? Dr Suhas Masilamani Can Help You

Dr Suhas Masilamani is one of the best and most experienced orthopedic and joint replacement surgeons in Hyderabad. He has performed hundreds of knee replacement surgeries in Hyderabad and has excelled in it. He also got trained for effective diagnosis and both surgical and non-surgical treatments. The doctor will consider various factors before advising you on the surgical options and the potential pros and cons of having or delaying surgery. To discuss your condition, call us immediately without any second thought.