The knee is one of the strongest joints in the body, but it is not immune to disease, injury, and age-related degeneration. If you sustain a severe knee injury or struggle with a degenerative disease, one option that your doctor may consider is knee surgery.
However, surgery isn’t a first-line treatment for knee problems. Your doctor will exhaust non-surgical options before considering knee surgery. Even then, the exact procedure recommended will depend on the nature and severity of your condition. Other factors include your physical activity level and overall health.
If you’re struggling with knee pain and would like to know when surgery is a viable option, here are some signs to have a conversation with your doctor.
If You No Longer Respond To Conservative Treatments
A common reason for knee surgery is osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that affects the cartilage. Since there is no cure for osteoarthritis, treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and preserving mobility.
Your doctor will start with conservative treatments to relieve osteoarthritis symptoms. They may prescribe medications to reduce pain and swelling.
Physical therapy is another option to reduce pain and restore function caused by musculoskeletal disease or injury. Your physical therapist will design an exercise plan to stretch and strengthen the knee.
Your doctor will create a plan that incorporates a combination of these treatments. However, if conservative treatments are ineffective or fail to relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend knee surgery. Surgery offers a longer-term solution for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. During knee replacement surgery, your surgeon replaces the damaged part of the joint with an implant or prosthetic.
If Symptoms Interfere With Daily Life
Your doctor may also consider knee surgery if your symptoms start to affect your quality of life. For instance, osteoarthritis symptoms can strike at night, preventing you from getting restful sleep. This can have significant ramifications on your physical and mental well-being.
If knee pain is making it difficult to get out of bed, climb the stairs, or perform everyday tasks, it’s time to sit down with your doctor. Limited mobility can present several problems. The less you move, the higher the chances that your joint function will continue to decline.
Knee surgery is one way to get back to the life you enjoy. After knee replacement, you can safely engage in low-impact activities like swimming, golfing, and biking. While it may not be possible to resume all your previous high-impact activities fully, knee surgery is one option to recover at least some parts of your previous lifestyle.
If You Want To Continue Playing Sports
Another common knee surgery is ACL reconstruction. This surgical procedure aims to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a major knee ligament that connects the thigh bone to the shinbone.
ACL tears are common among active individuals and athletes playing football, basketball, skiing, and soccer. If you sustain an ACL injury and want to continue playing your sport, your doctor may recommend surgery. During the procedure, your surgeon will remove the damaged ACL and replace it with a healthy band of tissue.
After rehabilitation and physical therapy, you should be able to regain strength and range of motion. It usually takes nine months to safely return to play.
If There Is A Visible Deformity
If you sustain an acute injury or struggle with a degenerative disease, delaying surgery may result in irreversible damage to the knee structures. In some cases, the knee might end up being visibly deformed. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause joint deformity and bone erosion over time.
If you experience persistent joint pain, try to schedule an appointment with your doctor to learn your options. Don’t wait for the joint to become visibly deformed.
Knee Surgery In Connecticut
Several situations may warrant knee surgery. If your symptoms have progressed to a point where your quality of life is affected, it’s best to call an orthopedic specialist for advice. As experts in the musculoskeletal system, they are best placed to review your treatment options and come up with a solution.
If you would like to check if you’re a good candidate for knee surgery, visit Advanced Orthopedics New England today. Our highly skilled team can perform a comprehensive assessment to diagnose your knee issue and design an appropriate treatment plan.
Should you require surgery, our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons can perform minimally invasive knee replacement, ACL reconstruction, patellar tendon tear surgery, and meniscus repair.
To schedule an appointment with our providers, call us today at (860) 728-6740 or fill out our online appointment request form. We have offices in Enfield, Bloomfield, Rocky Hill, and Vernon to serve you. Let us help you keep moving forward in life!