Many people begin to notice certain pains and stiffness in their joints as they age. The knees are one of the most common joints to experience injury or to suffer from arthritis. Depending on the level of discomfort a patient is feeling, a surgical procedure could be the solution he is looking for. Although knee surgery is a common and relatively safe surgery, all surgeries are a serious decision that should be made carefully with the counsel of a doctor. Determine whether knee surgery is right for you, and which type of procedure would work best for your situation.
When to Discuss Surgical Options with Your Doctor
Before deciding whether surgery is right for you, try alternative noninvasive options that might provide the relief you crave. Physical therapy and medications have made a world of difference for many patients. If you’ve tried other treatments and your symptoms are still strong enough to disrupt your daily life, it may be time to discuss surgery options with your doctor.
Replacement surgery isn’t necessary in every case. Some patients can have their joints repaired with a knee arthroscopy. During this procedure, your surgeon will repair or remove torn ligaments and other damages. Knee repairing will leave minimal scarring – usually two or three small incisions – along with a quick period of recovery.
Partial Knee Replacement
Like the knee arthroscopy, partial knee replacements are often preferable to traditional knee replacement surgeries because of the quicker recovery times and smaller incisions. During a partial knee replacement, the most damaged cartilage is replaced, but the rest of the knee is left intact. This procedure is ideal for patients with severe arthritis that is limited to only specific portions of the knee.
Total Knee Replacement
This surgery is typically the only treatment option available for patients with widespread, severe arthritis. During this procedure, the entire knee is removed and replaced with an implant made of metal and plastic. Although total knee replacement comes with the longest and most difficult recovery period, it offers a long-term solution for many patients.
Visit our orthopaedics department to learn more about surgery and other treatment options at Oak Hill Hospital. If you have further questions, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120 any time. We can also provide a physician referral.