The knee joint can become injured due to the degeneration or deterioration of cartilage that lines the inside of the knees. This cartilage is what protects the bones around our knees from rubbing against each other, and it allows these hinge joints to have optimal support and mobility.
The human body has an amazing power and ability to heal itself after injury and disease. Unfortunately, unlike other tissues elsewhere in the body, cartilage inside the knees is not able to heal or repair by itself. Once the cartilage wears away, it is gone for good.
If the cartilage wears away, it can cause symptoms of chronic pain, stiffness, inflammation, weakness, loss of function, and loss of mobility. Cartilage degeneration can occur within the medial compartment (inside the knee), and the resulting pain can radiate to other parts of the body, such as the back.
Oftentimes, orthopedic doctors do not like to resort to surgery unless other methods of treatment fail, such as physical therapy, medications, steroidal injections, and exercise. If they do fail, surgery is usually the next attempt at getting rid of the pain in the knee joint.
Facts About Knee Surgery
To help you learn more about knee replacement surgery, here are 10 interesting facts to help you decide if this option may be right for you or someone you know who is struggling with chronic knee pain.
Fact #1: One of the most common parts of the musculoskeletal system that orthopedic surgeons operate on is the knee, due to common conditions including arthritis, injury, and obesity.
Fact #2: Knee replacement surgery usually provides long-lasting relief. With a 90 to 95 percent success rate, all types of knee replacements should last for approximately 15 years or longer.
Fact #3: During joint replacement surgery, the affected part of your knee joint is removed and replaced with metal and/or plastic parts (prostheses) which have been precisely measured and shaped to fit you. This operation should help return some or all of your mobility and function, and most importantly, a healthy knee joint – which can help reduce or eliminate the pain.
Fact #4: Recovery time for a knee replacement – depending on whether it was a total or partial replacement – takes about four to six weeks, but it depends on the surgery and the person.
Fact #5: If you are overweight or obese and you need knee replacement surgery, it is recommended that you lose some weight before having the surgery. This will help reduce the stress on your joints, thereby helping to make the positive results of your surgery last longer.
Fact #6: Due to incredible advancements in medical technology, hundreds of thousands of knee replacements are performed every year in the United States for people with injuries and conditions of the knee, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscal tears.
Fact #7: If need be, a person can have a knee replacement done again. This is called revision joint replacement surgery, or knee revision surgery.
Fact #8: Age is not usually a conflict for surgery. If clinically fit, patients are good candidates for knee replacement surgery whatever their age may be. There are people who have undergone knee replacement surgery into their 80s and have then been able to enjoy life with less or no pain.
Fact #9: As with any procedure, the success of a patient’s knee replacement surgery heavily depends on the skill of the physician. When you see that an orthopedic specialist has practiced for a number of years in the knee subspecialty, research the doctor to find out if there is a history of satisfied clients and positive results.
Fact #10: Inventors are always pioneering new techniques and approaches for treating joint conditions. In the medical field, knee replacements are now often done using robotic technology, which is minimally invasive. This method usually results in less pain, no scarring, fewer complications, and little to no downtime.
Contact a Knee Specialist
So, if you’ve been suffering from debilitating pain due to arthritis or other injuries in your knee joints, it’s time to consult with an orthopedist. Your pain can be a thing of the past. Let our world-renowned team of knee specialists help restore your joints and allow you to return to the active lifestyle you’ve been missing.