Knee replacements are a great option when you have significant damage in your knee from osteoarthritis, and other treatments haven't helped your pain. However, it's an intense surgery that you should consider carefully, especially if you're under 60.
Dr. Nabil Ebraheim and the University of Toledo Physicians team are expert orthopedic surgeons offering knee replacement surgery. When your knee pain is significant, Dr. Ebraheim evaluates your joint to determine if a knee replacement is the best option for you.
A knee replacement is a complex surgical procedure Dr. Ebraheim uses when you have significant damage to the structures in your knee joint.
The most common reason for a knee replacement is degenerative arthritis in your joint. Osteoarthritis is one of the more prevalent types of arthritis that affects your knee joints.
Arthritis wears away at your joint over time, causing damage to the protective cartilage that protects your bones. Once these tissues are gone, you experience severe pain and swelling that affect your ability to walk, run, and get up the steps.
Serious injuries also lead to damage in your joints, which can also lead to arthritis. Whatever is causing your pain and disability, some treatments can help, such as joint injections and physical therapy.
So when do you need a knee replacement? Surgery is an option when the pain in your knee is so severe it affects your ability to do routine tasks or get around. If you've tried conservative treatments without relief, you're also a good candidate for a knee replacement.
The significant risk of getting a knee replacement too early is the need for revision surgery down the road. Most prosthetics only last a certain amount of time, meaning you'll likely need repeat surgery after they wear out.
The younger you are when you first undergo a knee replacement, the more repeat surgeries you'll need in the future to replace old prosthetics. Just like the typical structures in your joint, prosthetics have a shelf life too.
The prosthetics may only last 20 years, so if you're only 40, that means you might need another surgery by the time you're 60 and again when you're 80.
Another risk is an infection due to multiple surgeries. The younger you are when you have a knee replacement, the more surgeries you'll need later on, which increases your risk of infection, especially if you have chronic health problems.
When you're younger and thinking of a knee replacement, you must also consider your activity level. The younger you are, the more active you'll be. After a knee replacement, you’ll need to change some of your activities to extend the life of your prosthetic joint.
If you're not willing to stay away from high-impact activities like running, rock climbing, or football, you should rethink having a knee replacement until you're older.
There needs to be a better answer for the right age for a knee replacement. Many factors play into this decision, including the state of your knee joint and how much your pain affects your life.
Genetics, injuries, and osteoarthritis all play a significant role in the overall health of your knees. If you've suffered numerous injuries to your knee and have substantial damage within your joint, Dr. Ebraheim might recommend a knee replacement, no matter your age.
The longer you can hold out for a knee replacement, though, the less likely you'll need repeat surgeries. However, you also don't want to sacrifice your activities and happiness because you're afraid of multiple surgeries.
If you're concerned that you're too young for a knee replacement, Dr. Ebraheim offers other options to control your pain and discomfort. Trying these other methods before jumping into surgery may give you time before you need to go under the knife.
Physical therapy is one of the top treatments for knee pain and osteoarthritis. Our team helps you reduce pain through therapeutic exercises, stretching, and activity modifications.
A good physical therapy program significantly reduces your pain and improves the function of your knee joint. Dr. Ebraheim may also recommend steroid injections in your knee or hyaluronic acid injections to enhance the function of your joints. In the case of mild-to-moderate knee osteoarthritis, you can buy yourself time with these other treatments.
To get expert help for your knee pain, call our office at 419-383-3761, or request an appointment with Dr. Ebraheim online. You can also learn more about knee replacements on our YouTube channel.