The extreme pain of osteoarthritis in your knee can interfere with your ability to carry out daily tasks and even decrease your mobility. When this happens, your doctor may suggest knee replacement surgery. During this procedure, an orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged joint and replaces it with a long-lasting, lightweight implant intended to make movement easier and less painful. But before you go forward with this procedure, you should fully understand both the pros and cons of knee replacement surgery.
Pros of Knee Replacement
- Reduced Pain: The primary reason that most people are willing to undergo knee replacement surgery is that it will help to relieve the pain they are experiencing. Once a damaged or diseased knee joint has been replaced and patients fully recover, they usually experience a significant reduction in pain.
- Increased Range Of Motion: As a result of the stiffness and inflammation in the diseased joint, knee replacement candidates have often spent years with a reduced range of motion in their knees. Although knee replacement is unlikely to restore the patient to the flexibility they had prior to the onset of their condition, this surgery can often get a significant percentage of that flexibility back.
- Improved Quality of Life: Individuals with osteoarthritis in their knee joints frequently have difficulty carrying out the most basic activities, from climbing stairs to taking their dog for a walk. After knee replacement surgery, most patients find that they are able to perform tasks and carry out activities that had previously been impossible. The result is a significantly improved quality of life.
Cons of Knee Replacement
- Longevity of the Implant: While knee replacement implants are designed to last a long time, they don't last forever. You can usually expect to get no more than 10 or 15 years out of an implant before needing a new one. This leaves you with the option of either waiting later in your life to have the surgery or accepting that you'll have to have a second surgery at some point in the future.
- Possible Infection: Any type of surgery can sometimes result in an infection. If you have knee replacement surgery, it might be possible for the bacteria to get in through the incision and cause an infection ranging from minor to serious (either in the knee itself or throughout the body). This is why it's essential that any patient undergoing knee replacement surgery should receive antibiotics during surgery and post-operation.
Have more questions? Contact a company like ComForcare - Chicago if you want to know more or need help.