More than 90% of people who have total knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living.
The decision to have total knee replacement surgery should be a cooperative one between you, your family, your family physician, and your orthopaedic surgeon.
When Surgery Is Recommended
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery. People who benefit from total knee replacement often have:
Severe knee pain or stiffness that limits your everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. You may find it hard to walk more than a few blocks with-out significant pain and you may need to use a cane or walker
Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, either day or night
Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
Knee deformity — a bowing in or out of your knee
Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries
Who is a Candidate for Surgery
There are no absolute age or weight restrictions for patients seeking total knee replacement surgery.
Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are age 50 to 80, but orthopaedic surgeons evaluate patients individually.
Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis. With normal use and activity, every knee replacement implant will begin to wear in its plastic spacer. Excessive activity or weight may speed up this nor-mal wear and may cause the knee replacement to loosen and become painful.
Therefore, most surgeons advise against high-impact activities such as running, jogging, jumping, or other high-impact sports after surgery.
Dr. Thomas Degenhardt is co-director of The Sports Medicine Center at SRO and has extensive experience in complex reconstructive procedures of the knee, including articular cartilage regeneration and transfer techniques, multiple ligament reconstructions and primary and revision knee replacement. Learn more …
Dr. Gary Stein specializes in orthopaedic surgery, adult re-constructive surgery, sports medicine, and back care. He pioneered techniques in hip and knee replacement surgery and has been performing (MIS) minimally invasive hip replacement surgical techniques since 2001. Learn more …
Dr. Michael McDermott is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and other orthopaedic problems, with emphasis on arthroscopic, complex reconstruction and minimally invasive procedures of the knee, hip and shoulder. Learn more …