Answering The Question Of: How Do I Know if I Need Total Knee Replacement?

For decades, your knees served you well and you may never thought about how they worked or why they worked. You were just glad they did. Your daily activities were never impeded by pain or stiffness and your strong, healthy knees allowed you to move well, change direction quickly and support your body’s weight in the process.

Those were the days when your knees were healthy. Now, thinking back on those days, you can hardly remember what it felt like to run without pain, let alone simply rest without pain. These days, every movement is a challenge and the severity of the pain is making you wonder, “How do I know if I need total knee replacement?”

If this describes your situation, then you’ve come to the right place! Rothman Orthopaedic Institute is a regional leader in orthopedic medicine. In fact, our physicians are well known and respected throughout the world as pioneers and educators in the knee sub-specialty.
Here at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, we consistently see patients, who are dealing with chronic knee pain and we help them answer the question, “How do I know if I need total knee replacement?” Some patient’s knee conditions can be addressed through more conservative, non-surgical methods. But for some, the advanced joint replacement procedure known as total knee replacement is indeed the best treatment option.
All About Knee Replacement Procedures
While the core methodology and materials for a knee replacement are very similar from case to case, there are several different ways that this procedure can be performed.
  • Simultaneous - Bilateral: The term bilateral refers to the replacing of both knees. When both the right and left knees are replaced during one surgical event, this is referred to as a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement. This is efficient in that it requires single anesthesia and a shorter hospital stay. In addition, the patient benefits from symmetrically rehabilitation.
  • Staged - Bilateral: When both knees must be replaced, but the procedure for each is scheduled as a separate surgical event, the patient is said to go through a staged bilateral surgery. Surgeries are usually performed several months apart and therefore require two, separate rehabilitation periods. This option, however,  is easier on the heart and reduces the chances of excessive blood loss.
  • Computer Assisted Replacement Procedure: Computer-assisted surgery increases the precision and accuracy, and gives the surgeon real-time feedback during the surgery. Many surgeons employ computers in patients with severe deformity or malalignment. Others believe that computer-assisted surgery is helpful in all patients, not just difficult ones. Precision and accuracy is beneficial in all patients.
With this information in mind, you may still be wondering, “How do I know if I need total knee replacement?” or you may even be questioning whether you may specifically require a bilateral knee replacement treatment plan. Before we continue to help you answer those questions, keep this impressive statistic in mind:
For any properly performed knee replacement, patients should expect a greater than 95% chance of success after 15 years!
How Do I Know If I Need Total Knee Replacement?
Most patients who end up requiring total knee replacement are dealing with the pain associated with osteoarthritis. This “wear and tear” type of arthritis occurs throughout a person’s lifetime as their cartilage slowly wear away. Because the body is only given one set of natural cartilage, when it wears down, bones are exposed within the joint, making every movement extremely painful.
Knee arthritis is diagnosed by a physician by conducting  a physical exam and reviewing x-rays. The condition can occur because of injury or trauma or simply due to degeneration of the joint over time. Regardless of the cause, the result is the same. The arthritic knees cause the patient to experience pain, swelling, stiffness, instability and even sometimes deformity.
In order to combat these negative effects, orthopedic physicians from Rothman Orthopaedic Institute have continued to pioneer new ways to make total knee replacement an even more effective solution. For more information on this procedure or to schedule an appointment with one of our world-renowned orthopedic specialists, call Rothman Orthopaedic Institute today at 1-800-321-9999.

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