This article is part of the Ultimate Guide to Knee Replacement from Logansport Memorial Hospital.
Sitting on the sidelines while the rest of your family enjoys a day at the park ... skipping a vacation because you fear you wouldn’t be able to keep up ... Avoiding friends because you don’t want anyone to see how slowly you move ...
Chronic knee pain can keep you from doing the things you want to do, but it doesn’t have to. If you’ve exhausted nonsurgical treatments and feel helpless, it might be time to look into knee replacement surgery as a treatment.
It’s natural to have some apprehension about surgery—even if the doctor you trust has reviewed your progress and recommended it as the best next step. Keep reading to find out how to know if it’s the right time to consider knee surgery more seriously and what might happen if you wait too long.
When should you have knee replacement surgery?
Knowing more about what to expect after successful knee surgery and recovery period helps some people to take that next step in their healing journey. Others want to know what they risk by declining or delaying joint replacement.
Are you jumping the gun? Waiting too long? Is your quality of life acceptable as is? When to get knee surgery is different from patient to patient. The simple answer is that no one deserves to endure chronic pain and suffer from additional health problems because of their knee condition.
When an orthopedic specialist recommends knee replacement surgery, it’s time to give that treatment option some thought. If you have doubts, consider getting a second opinion from an experienced knee doctor. You don’t have to live with knee pain.
Risks of postponing knee surgery
When patients put off getting knee surgery, typical complications include:
- Increased knee pain
- Weight gain
- Slower recovery
Increased knee pain
Damaged bone, cartilage, and ligaments can’t heal on their own. In fact, in some cases, your knee joints may begin to deteriorate and eventually lose function altogether if left untreated, creating even more pain.
You may find yourself limping and walking differently because of your discomfort. Getting around like this, in some patients, causes them to overcompensate then develop new pains in the knee and hip of their “good leg” from walking unnaturally to accommodate pain in their “bad leg.”
Living with a hurt knee can make even walking hard to do. Some patients with serious knee pain even stop exercising because moving too much puts pressure on their knees and worsens their pain.
When severe pain forces you to become to move less, your body needs fewer calories. That's why, when you’re less active, so you’re more prone to gain a few unwanted pounds.
This only makes problems worse because you put more pressure on your knees and cause additional pain when you carry more weight. Some patients even report other health problems, like irritability, depression, and trouble sleeping, due to weight gain.
Get tips for getting to a healthy weight before surgery if you’re overweight
Knee replacement surgery is already a complicated procedure, but delaying it will make both the surgery and recovery even more difficult.
Generally speaking, age plays a factor too. The younger the patient, the faster their knee replacement surgery recovery will likely take.
Additionally, your surgery options may become more limited if you wait too long, and more significant damage may be caused to your knee, requiring more extensive treatment.
Knee replacement surgery at Logansport Memorial Hospital
The best patient care starts with doctors who listen with compassion. At Logansport Memorial Hospital, our orthopedic care team knows how scary getting a knee replacement can be.
Whether you need an initial diagnosis, a second opinion, or follow-up care, we will take the time to answer your questions about what joint replacement surgery might mean for your overall health.
If you’re thinking of getting knee surgery or want to talk through your options for getting back on your feet, we’re here for you.
Call (574) 722-2663 to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons to discuss your knee condition and learn more about knee replacement surgery.
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