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More than one-third of people in the United States have knee pain, according to the American Osteopathic Association, and almost 60 percent of people say they would not tell their doctors about chronic pain.
If you are like many people with a bad knee, you are probably considering knee surgery but are not really certain if you should go through with it. You might be worried about managing the pain, the amount of time away from work, complications, or that you are too old. You may be relieved to know that many of the arguments against knee surgery are actually good reasons to have surgery. Knee surgery helps you manage pain, improve your attendance and performance at work, reduces complications like a sedentary lifestyle and obesity, and can be performed at any age.
There are several different types of knee surgery. Some of the most common types of knee surgery include:
Knee surgery can alleviate the debilitating knee pain you feel when walking, running, standing, or even when you are sitting or lying down. Knee surgery effectively alleviates pain.
Knee pain is especially disabling because it prevents you from walking long distances. Significant knee pain can prevent you from walking short distances inside your own home or at work. Even moderate knee pain can interfere with your ability to take care of your family or do a good job at work.
Knee pain can even lead to a sedentary lifestyle, resulting in weight gain and ill health.
Knee surgery may be right for you if severe knee pain or joint stiffness limits everyday activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, and sitting down on or rising from chairs. Surgery is especially appropriate for you if you have trouble walking more than a few blocks without experiencing significant pain, or if you cannot walk without the help of a cane or walker.
Knee surgery may be a good option if chronic knee inflammation and swelling does not get better with rest, medication, or other treatments, including anti-inflammatory medications, lubricating injections, cortisone injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries.
Long-term use of some types of medications, especially opioid pain relievers, can cause complications. Using opioid pain relievers for more than a few days can result in physical dependence and addiction.
Knee surgery reduces your need for medications, physical therapy, and other surgeries.
Knee surgery is highly successful and sees very high patient satisfaction rates. Surgical reconstruction of the ACL has an 82 percent to 95 percent success rate, for example. More than 95 percent of patients are satisfied with the results of knee replacement surgery one year after the procedure, according to research results presented at the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2010 Annual Meeting.
There are no age restrictions for total knee replacement surgery. Doctors base recommendations for surgery on the patient’s pain and disability, and not the patient’s age. While most patients who undergo total knee replacements are aged 50 to 80, according to the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, knee surgery improves the quality of life for patients of all physical abilities and ages, from teenage athletes to elderly patients.
To learn more about knee surgery, make an appointment with Revere Health. Our orthopedic surgeons have the training, skills, and tools to determine if you need knee surgery and to perform a variety of knee surgeries. Make your appointment today by calling (801) 429-8000.
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.