If you have problems with knee pain, you may wonder when it's time for a knee joint replacement. A joint replacement is usually a last resort treatment, yet it can be highly effective at increasing mobility and decreasing pain. Choosing just the right time for the surgery can be difficult, and making the decision should be done with the guidance of your physician. Here are a few signs it could be time for a knee replacement.
You've Reached Your Senior Years
Younger adults can have joint surgery, but your doctor may be more likely to postpone it when possible when you're young. The reason for this is that artificial joints have a limited lifespan. If you're already in your senior years, a new joint could last the rest of your life. However, if you're in your forties or fifties, your joint might fail when you're in your senior years and require an additional surgery.
You Have A Lot Of Pain
The timing for your joint replacement surgery could depend on the level of pain you have and how well medications work for you. If you can't get relief from painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, then it may be time to consider surgery, especially if the pain interferes with your ability to work and go through your daily routine.
You're Becoming Less Mobile
Quality of life is another important consideration. If your discomfort or difficulty walking keeps you from being socially active, you may not enjoy life as much. You might become isolated and sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle might cause your health to deteriorate. A knee replacement could help you regain your mobility so you stay active and enjoy sports, traveling, sightseeing, gardening, and other activities you like and that make life more enjoyable.
Your Joint Is Unstable
If you have problems with your joint being unstable, or it bows to one side, it could be time for joint replacement surgery. You don't want surgery too early, but you also don't want to wait too long. A new joint stabilizes your knee so it has the proper alignment and allows you to have a natural gait.
You've Reached Your Ideal Weight
Since being overweight can significantly strain your knee, your doctor may want you to lose weight before considering surgery. Simply losing weight might be enough to stop your knee pain. However, if you've lost weight and your pain persists, your doctor might agree that it's time for surgery.
A joint replacement is a major surgery, and it takes months to fully recover. While you may not like the idea of going under the knife, you may find the end results to be worth it when you have a long-lasting solution for your knee pain and swelling thanks to a new joint. Keep these tips in mind when looking for a joint replacement treatment center near you.