Over time, wear and tear of your joints—especially those in the knees and hips—can become painful, and if more conservative forms of treatment aren’t successful, your doctor might recommend joint replacement.
If you experience these symptoms, a knee or hip replacement might be in your future:
- • Major pain, including the kind that persists through medication and keeps you up at night.
- • Inability to complete basic daily tasks due to pain, including walking or bending over.
- • Your doctor has told you that more conservative treatments will not help.
There are a also other signs to be aware of:
Arthritis that’s reached a certain point in its progression is one of the more common instigators of knee or hip replacement. Arthritis wears down healthy cartilage, developing slowly but eventually can become very painful. It can cause pain when performing even simple activities like sitting down or climbing stairs. Early signs of arthritis, such as cracking or popping sounds, swelling or buckling of the joint, could signal that a joint replacement may be part of your treatment plan.
Previous Joint Procedures
People who have had a partial knee replacement in the past might be at higher risk of needing a full replacement, as these procedures often are not intended as long-term solutions. The same goes for those who have had arthroscopic procedures done, including meniscus or cartilage repair.
People who have undergone these procedures, particularly earlier in life, will have a higher chance of needing a replacement later on.
Weight isn’t a direct indicator of a future need for a joint replacement, but it’s a significant risk factor. Being overweight or obese puts more pressure on the knee and hip joints, and enough pressure over time can weaken the joint to the point where it needs to be replaced.
Job or Fitness Routines
Certain jobs involve things like carrying heavy loads, standing for long periods at a time and other movements that can put significant strain on these joints. If you work in one of these professions, you could be at heightened risk for an eventual joint replacement.
Your orthopedic doctor can offer you more suggestions for taking care of your joints, and can inform you if you might be a good candidate for joint replacement.
I find satisfaction in helping patients recover and enjoy life again. I aim to treat each patient individually and maintain open communication throughout the treatment process.
“6 signs that it may be time to have a joint replaced.” Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/6-signs-that-it-may-be-time-to-have-a-joint-replaced
“Signs You’ll Need A Joint Replacement.” Patrick A Meere, MD. https://www.drpatrickmeere.com/blog-sessions/signs-youll-need-joint-replacement