If you're wondering how to know if you need knee surgery, then the chances are that you'll have some questions you need to ask your doctor. However, it's important to note that today, research has begun to discover that knee surgeries are actually less necessary than most of us think. In fact, in a majority of cases - the only thing you really need for those aching knees is a regular exercise routine.
Still, there are circumstances wherein surgery really will be the only option - usually when nonsurgical solutions like physical therapy, medication, and other aid like knee compression sleeves simply doesn't work to alleviate the pain. Here we're going to offer an insight into some of the signs that may indicate that you do need knee surgery.
How to Know if You Need Knee Surgery (Signs and Symptoms)
Most of the time, you'll be able to tell that something is wrong with your knee if you experience constant aching in the joint, followed by periods of brief pain relief. Similarly, you may find that you suffer from joint stiffness, loss of mobility, and general discomfort. Though these signs can be worrying - they aren't necessarily indications that you need surgery.
However, with that in mind, there are a few signs you should be watching for:
- Instances wherein your pain recurs or persists over time
- Aching in the knees during and after exercise
- Lack of mobility
- Lack of response to medication
- Knee stiffness or pain in rainy weather
- Trouble sleeping
- Excessive swelling
- Unbearable pain
If you notice some of the above symptoms, then you will need to speak to your primary care doctor about how to know if you need knee surgery. In some cases, your doctor will then refer you to an orthopedic surgeon who will help you to determine the best step forward for your particular circumstances.
How to Know If You Need Knee Surgery (Getting a Diagnosis)
If you believe that you would benefit from knee surgery, you will need to undergo an examination with an orthopedic surgeon. This professional will conduct physical tests and x-rays, as well as asking you to describe your pain in as much detail as possible. If you have been suffering from problems for a long time, it may be useful to keep a record that you can share with your doctor.
During the diagnosis, your joints will be tested for range of motion, strength, and flexibility through a range of activities including walking and bending.
How Common Is a Knee Replacement?
Most doctors will do what they can to delay a knee replacement for as long impossible - opting for less invasive treatments instead. However, if you have an advanced disease in your joint, or suffer from extreme pain, then a knee replacement may give you the chance to regain some mobility and achieve relief from some of your symptoms.
On average, knee replacement is a routine surgery performed on around 600,000 people each year. More than 90% of those people actually experience an improvement in knee function once the surgery is complete.