It isn’t easy to decide on surgery, even when the latest surgical techniques can reduce your risks and shorten your recovery time. But joint replacement procedures can be life-changing, especially when they involve your knees.
In 2014, surgeons performed more than 680,000 total knee replacements in the United States, and estimates show these numbers ballooning to 1.2 million by 2030. But just because knee replacements are on the rise, that doesn’t mean it’s time to schedule your procedure.
Dr. Jared Tadje at Tadje Orthopaedics specializes in knee replacements. He considers the following factors when determining who is a good candidate for this common procedure.
One of the most important considerations when it comes to knee replacement surgery involves pain. In most cases, Dr. Tadje recommends conservative treatments for knee pain before joint replacement surgery.
Common nonsurgical approaches for knee pain include:
- Lifestyle changes, including weight loss
- Pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Joint injections, including platelet-rich plasma and stem cell therapies
Surgery could provide the best solution when pain doesn’t respond to these approaches within 3-6 months, especially if your pain persists while at rest.
Knee problems can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness that significantly affect your ability to do the most minor tasks, from standing or walking to climbing stairs. Sometimes these symptoms can become so severe that they disrupt every aspect of life, including:
- Practicing good hygiene
- Engaging in activities you love
If you find your knee pain interferes with your mobility and daily life, it could be time to consider surgery.
Injury or joint deformity
In some cases, the easiest way to decide on surgery involves your injury itself. Sometimes these injuries can be obvious, like sustaining a severe knee fracture. But any conditions leading to deformity in your legs could require surgical intervention.
To determine the extent of your injury or joint damage, Dr. Tadje performs a comprehensive evaluation, including a physical examination and diagnostic imaging. He also discusses your medical history, along with your existing symptoms.
After reaching a diagnosis, Dr. Tadje can make personalized recommendations related to the best course of treatment.
People of all ages can benefit from knee replacement surgery, including young teenagers with juvenile arthritis and elderly adults with degenerative forms of arthritis. But these surgeries are most common in people 50-80 years old.
Knee replacement implants don’t last forever, especially with the active and physical lifestyle of younger patients. But advancements in technology have created artificial knee joints that last 15-25 years. And for 9 in 10 people, they’re still in good condition 20 years after replacement.
As a result, replacing your knee joint can help you maintain an active lifestyle longer. But depending on your age, you could need another knee replacement in the future.
Are you ready to see if you’re a good candidate for knee replacement surgery? Contact Tadje Orthopaedics in Meridian, Idaho, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tadje. Call 208-515-2654 or book online today.