Is a Total Knee Replacement Right for You?
Total knee replacements are one of the most common orthopedic surgeries and the most commonly performed joint replacement in America. In 2011, almost 1 million total joint surgeries were performed in America and over the past decade more than double to rate from a decade ago. For patients with severe arthritis that limits their function and causes significant pain it can be a great option to improve people’s day to day lives. But, based on a study published earlier this year about 1/3 of total knee replacements were inappropriate.
Knee arthritis as detected by x-ray, even severe “bone on bone” changes did not have a relationship with loss in function or knee pain. People with knee arthritis and degenerative changes have many options. Those that maintain higher activity levels, like walking and bicycling typically have improved function and less pain.
For those of you that feel that you have too much pain to start a new exercise program physical therapy is an excellent option. Physical therapy can address loss in range of motion around the knee or loss of strength that can contribute to knee pain. Physical therapists are specialized in the assessment and treatment of patients with musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis, and improving people’s functional movement and activity tolerance. As noted in previous posts, our therapists are in the top 7% in the country for functional outcomes and many of our therapists are Board Certified in Orthopedics. Set up an assessment with a physical therapist today to get your knee pain assessed and think twice before choosing a knee replacement.