Pain and mobility limits your daily activities
If your knee is no longer able to bend enough for you to sit in your vehicle or your pain
has impacted the quality of your life then you shouldn’t ignore these symptoms.
Limited range of motion in the knee is a sign of severe osteoarthritis as well as pain during movement or rest. Pain that interrupts normal sleep patterns should also be a concern. Any physical changes in the knee such as swelling or bowing of the knee may be a sign that there is significant joint damage.
These signs that limit normal daily function and aren’t improved with adequate rest and medication should be considered in the possibility of having a total knee replacement.
You’ve expended less invasive options
While contemplating a total knee replacement there are many non-surgical and less invasive options to treating knee pain and improving mobility. Injections, anti-inflammatory medications, and arthroscopic surgery are often used to treat mild to moderate osteoarthritis, but when these treatments no longer provide relief it is and indication that replacement could be the next step.
Physical therapy and losing weight are other options to try before deciding it is time for a knee replacement, but sometimes the joint damage is severe enough that even strengthening the muscles around the joint is no longer sufficient.
You’ve consulted with your orthopedic surgeon
Patients who have the best results from a total knee replacement are those who have been suffering from severe osteoarthritis and joint damage. Several factors can determine joint replacement success, including x-ray and MRI reports, personal medical history, pain level and function.
The Heekin Clinic provides one of the most experienced and sought after joint replacement surgeons in Florida, and Dr. Heekin can help you determine if the procedure is the right fit for you.
You are mentally prepared
If you have a positive mind set and prepare your life before having a total knee replacement surgery it can help reduce stress and decrease recovery time. Organizing your home and work so that you can focus on recovery and planning a good support base of family and friends can smooth the transition process from hospital to home.
It is also recommended to be informed on possible surgical approaches, where the surgery will take place, and steps during the rehabilitation process.
You are physically cleared
If decided you are a candidate for a total knee replacement you will have an appointment with your surgeon to discuss the procedure, medical history and any risks associated with the surgery. You may need to see your primary care physician or other specialists who are caring for you to get final clearance that you are physically fit to have surgery. Sometimes preoperative tests are necessary.
Quitting smoking or decreasing smoking, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol use and controlled substance use can help lessen recovery time and reduce the chance of complications.
Participating in a general strengthening routine or pre-habilitation program can also help prepare your body for surgery by strengthening your upper body for the use of assistive devices becoming familiar with the post-surgical lower extremity strengthening exercises.