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Is knee pain putting your life on hold? Mr Stephen Tai, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon lists 5 reasons why it may be time to consider a knee replacement.

Knee replacement surgery is performed in people who have damage to their knee joints. The most common reason by far is osteoarthritis (wear and tear of the joint), although other causes can include rheumatoid arthritis, traumatic injury and gout.

Damage to the joint most commonly manifests as knee pain, swelling, stiffness, instability and loss of function. Together, these symptoms can have a significant detrimental effect on an individual’s quality of life. Knee replacement surgery involves replacement of part or all of your damaged knee joint.

It is worthwhile discussing your symptoms with an orthopaedic surgeon to determine what treatment options are available for your painful knee, but here are 5 reasons why it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery.

1. Pain

The most common and most important symptom of all. This maybe occasional, associated with activity, or constant. The severity can range from mild through to severe. It may even prevent you from sleeping or wake you at night. Pain doesn't have to be immediate to be troublesome. Delayed or “payback” pain may be indicative of your knee wearing out.

The perception of pain is subjective, therefore, whether you’re someone who admits to having a relatively low pain threshold or someone who believes they have a high tolerance to pain, it is worthwhile seeking help if your pain limits what you can do.

2. Movement is reduced

As well as pain, the movement in your knee is commonly diminished. When you try to bend it, the knee can feel tight, can feel as though something is rubbing or catching, or the knee can lock or freeze in position. These symptoms, coupled with pain, will often result in a person losing confidence in their knee, particularly when walking or climbing stairs.

3. Lifestyle limitations

Whether you like to take a short walk to the end of the garden or regularly play 18 holes of golf, any symptom that limits the activities you enjoy should be taken seriously.

4. Your quality of life is impacted upon

The combination of pain, reduced function and an inability to perform normal day to day activities or pastimes that you love is likely to have a significant negative impact on your quality of life.

5. Non-surgical options are no longer assisting

Surgery should be your last option. There are a number of effective non-surgical treatments or life-style modifications which may mean that surgery is never required. If these alternatives fail to relieve, or stop offering relief, then surgery can be considered.

The Oxford knee score can also be used in conjunction with other information to help a patient make a sensible decision as whether to proceed to surgery or not. Take the test by clicking here. 

At Ramsay Health Care we offer a full range of diagnosis and surgery options for knee pain and other joint problems. You can find out more about our knee and other orthopaedic treatments, or if you’d like to talk to us about any knee or joint problems you’re having, don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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