How to know if you need total knee replacement surgery

While the decision to have a knee replacement procedure is always a personal one, it may be time to consider it if you’re experiencing frequent knee pain when climbing stairs, walking, or moving from a seated to standing position.

A total knee replacement is always a last resort, when non-operative methods such as physical therapy have not worked for you.

It could be the saving grace if you have experiencing severe pain in the body’s largest joint, as well as trouble with range of motion, function and stability.

But how do you know if the procedure is right for you, and what can you expect?

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It may be time to have knee replacement surgery if you are experiencing the following signs:

  • You are experiencing pain even when at rest: Knee pain is relatively common when the joint itself is in use, such as when climbing stairs, walking or jogging, or even taking a shower. However, if you’re feeling pain when sitting or standing still, this is an indicator that your joint inflammation is more serious. Patients who undergo a knee replacement surgery are left with no pain after their recovery, making this course of action a good one for those who are seeking a pain-free lifestyle.

  • You have experienced a traumatic injury to the joint: General wear-and-tear on the cartilage in the joint is the most common source of worsening knee pain. However, if you have experienced a sports injury or other trauma to the joint, this can be all the more reason to consider a total knee replacement.

    If you have had severe damage to your knee as a result of a previous injury, or if that injury still causes pain or stiffness, and conservative treatment has failed it may be time to consider talking to your doctor about knee replacement surgery. Knee specialist in Kenya at Nairobi Spine and Orthopaedic Centre will help you determine what is the best option for you to give you the best results, whether it be a total or partial knee replacement or to continue with non-surgical treatment, such as physical therapy.

  • Your knee is stiff or swollen: Swelling at the joints can be an indication of significant knee inflammation. While not all patients who experience knee pain see swelling, those who do are often best off considering surgery in their treatment plan. A total knee replacement procedure removes not only the affected bone and cartilage in the joint, but also much of the damaged and inflamed tissue at the site as well.

  • Decreased range of motion: This can occur gradually or may become more pronounced over a short period of time. Pain gradually sets in due to a medical condition such as arthritis resulting in a rapid or gradual loss of cartilage in the knee joint.

    When this cartilage wears away, there is nothing left to prevent the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (shin), or the patella (knee cap) from rubbing against each other, and the pain that results from this bone-on-bone grinding can be excruciating and limits the range of motion. If you have noticed a pronounced loss of range of motion when going about your daily activities, it may be time to consider a knee replacement to restore your joints to their former state.

  • Other joint pain relief strategies haven’t worked for you: All possible treatments should be considered and discussed with a knee specialist before a patient comes to a conclusion about something as serious as whether to have a surgical procedure.

    If you have tried non-invasive attempts at knee pain management before—such as physical therapy, weight management, injections and other medications—without success, it is likely time to speak to a specialist about turning to surgery.

    Alternatively, if the wear and tear on your joint is limited to a specific area, your orthopaedic doctor at Nairobi Spine and Orthopaedic Centre may recommend a partial knee replacement instead, whereby the surrounding normal cartilage and ligaments are not removed and the recovery time is lessened.

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How Does a Knee Replacement Work?

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A total knee replacement surgery can take from one to three hours. During that time, your orthopedic surgeon will remove damaged cartilage and bone before fitting the replacement joint, called an implant.

Implants come in a variety of different designs created by different manufacturers, but will always contain metal and plastic components that fuse to the resurfaced bone.

Your orthopedic surgeon, at Nairobi Spine and Orthopaedic Centre in Kenya will select the design that best fits each patient based on their lifestyle habits and the severity of the biological joint’s deterioration.

Delaying total knee replacement after your orthopedic surgeon has recommended can lead to:

  • weakened or lost function in muscles and ligaments

  • deformities outside the knee joint

  • greater difficulty or an inability to engage in normal daily activities—including walking and driving due to chronic pain and a loss of functionality

  • Continued use of your damaged joint will likely lead to further deterioration and damage, making a future procedure more complex. Complications down the road may require surgery eventually.

A lot of people with modern knee replacements have maintained good function more than 15 years after the surgery.

However, replacement joints experience wear and tear similar to biological joints and should be cared for accordingly.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making regular doctor’s visits will keep you on track.

OPENING HOURS

Week Days 8:00 – 5:00
Saturday 9:00 – 5:00
Sunday 11:00 – 4:00

(254) 20 440 1349 (254) 791 399 103/4 (254) 780 888 823

OFFICE LOCATION

OUR VALUES

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