Knee osteoarthritis can affect an individual’s every move: walking, climbing stairs, and even mundane activities like sitting or lying down. When knee osteoarthritis becomes debilitating, surgery is typically recommended.
There lies the big question: When is knee replacement surgery really needed? Quite a number of patients put off the procedure until their problems become unbearable. Knee pain that persists or recurs over time despite various treatments can become quite unbearable that the patient finds it impossible to sleep soundly. Meanwhile, the knee may stiffen up with simple tasks such as sitting down.
Before undergoing surgery, patients are typically advised to exhaust all other available treatments beforehand. Options include over-the-counter oral medications like Tylenol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Advil or Motrin, or Aleve. Creams or ointments rubbed on the skin also count, as well as medications that can be directly injected to the joint (e.g. corticosteroid shots that fight inflammation and offer quick pain relief lasting several months).
Ultimately, every patient’s case is unique. Age, weight, medical conditions, and other related factors may also restrict some individuals from undergoing the procedure. Patients, therefore, need to consult an orthopedic surgeon who can best determine the best treatment course depending on their condition.