Knee Replacement

When Should I Have a Knee Replacement? 

At the St. Elizabeth our Orthopaedic team we believe in looking at the entire picture when determining if a patient is ready for knee replacement surgery. Our comprehensive approach includes evaluating your knee and having a thorough discussion about your quality of life and level of activity. If your knee is currently slowing you down and the pain is preventing you from living life to its fullest, it’s time to consider partial or total knee replacement.

Who Benefits from Knee Replacement?

An orthopaedic surgeon may recommend knee replacement surgery if: 

1) Pain prevents you from sleeping or participating in normal activities
2)  You cannot move around by yourself
3) Your need to use a cane or walker
4) Your pain has not improved with other non-surgical treatments
5) You understand the surgery and recovery 

Some patients are willing to wait until their knee problem becomes severe before undergoing a knee replacement, while other patients are more willing to have the surgery completed so they can return to sports and daily activities. Some younger patients may benefit from a partial knee replacement at an early age to relieve pain knowing they may need a total knee replacement in the future. Your orthopaedic surgeon will help you determine the best timing to maximize your quality of life.

Can I wait to have my Knee Replacement Surgery? 

In general, knee replacement surgery is elective. At the St. Elizabeth Total Joint Center, we promote and value your overall quality of life. Knee replacement surgery is typically done to provide you with pain relief. In most cases, temporarily delaying surgery will not negatively impact the knee joint. 

Occasionally, extreme wear and tear on your knee joint can cause damage to other parts of your body. Pain can also prevent you from moving around well, which in turn can damage the muscles around your joints and even make your bones thinner. In this case, your doctor will recommend moving forward with the surgery.

What is Knee Resurfacing?

Knee resurfacing is another term used for partial or total knee replacement. During knee replacement, the ends of the bones are resurfaced with the metal prosthesis after the arthritic bone is removed. These two terms can be used interchangeably; however, knee replacement is most commonly used terminology.

Limiting Factors

At the St. Elizabeth Total Joint Center, your health is our first priority. There are certain factors that would cause your doctor to not recommend a knee replacement, including: 

1) Elevated Body Mass Index (BMI)
2) Weak quadriceps
3) Unhealthy skin around the knee joint
4) Previous knee infection
5) Heart or lung problems, which makes surgery riskier
6) Other health conditions that would impact your knee replacement surgery recovery 

Contact Us

If you are considering a knee replacement or any other knee surgery options, please contact us at askortho@stelizabeth.com for more information.