You use your knees for almost all of your daily activities — walking, sitting, and standing. So when something goes wrong or you get injured, the impact on your life is hard to overstate.
Conditions such as degenerative arthritis can wear down your knee joint, causing intense pain and sometimes mobility problems. But what can you do when your knees just aren’t what they used to be?
That’s where our team at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates comes in to save the day. No matter what’s causing your knee discomfort, our skilled orthopedic surgeons have the perfect treatment for you.
This might include conservative measures or a partial or total knee replacement, depending on the severity of your condition.
Conditions that cause knee pain
Knee pain can really disrupt your everyday life. It can be quite obvious what’s causing your discomfort if you sustain an injury, but other conditions can be harder for you to figure out. Other causes of knee pain include:
- Meniscus tears
- ACL tears
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Patellar tendinitis
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain in older adults. However, it can strike at any point in your life. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that causes the cartilage in your knee to wear down over time, leading to inflammation and ultimately, pain.
Many other types of arthritis can also damage your joint, and meniscus tears can lead to damage because there is less cushioning in your joint. All of these conditions can be treated conservatively, with treatments like:
- Ice or heat
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
Conservative measures are usually the first avenue of treatment, unless your condition is very severe. However, if your condition fails to get better after several of these treatments and your pain is disrupting your life, it may be time to discuss a knee replacement with our surgeons.
Knee replacements can help
When the damage in your knee is so severe that you have trouble walking or getting up the stairs, our surgeons recommend a knee replacement to solve the problem. The goal of a knee replacement is to reduce pain from your damaged knee joint and restore your mobility.
Knee replacements can either be partial or total, depending how badly the joint is damaged. Our surgeons do this by opening up your knee and cutting out the damaged parts of your joint. We then place a prosthetic that’s made of metal, heavy plastics, or polymer materials.
Most knee replacements are done due to the damage that osteoarthritis causes to your joint over time. Although there are ways for you to slow down the disease, the only way to fully stop the progression is with a knee replacement.
What to expect from surgery
Knee replacement surgery requires you to go under anesthesia for the duration of the procedure. Once you’re asleep, our surgeons make an incision in your knee and cut out the damaged bone and tissue. They then measure the area to make sure the prosthetic fits perfectly in your joint, and secure the prosthetic in place.
Once your surgery is complete, you go to the recovery room for an hour or two, until you wake up from the anesthesia. You can then expect to spend a few days in the hospital before going home. A physical therapist visits you while you’re in the hospital to begin your therapy.
At home, you continue physical therapy for several months to get you the best mobility out of your knee replacement. You can usually resume your normal activities within six weeks of surgery, but each person is different, so check with your doctor before resuming anything.
Knee replacements can last 15 to 20 years, as long as you take care of yourself. This means not overdoing it and maintaining a healthy weight and activity regimen. If you follow this, you can get back to a pain-free life.
If your knee pain is getting so bad that you can’t enjoy life anymore, call one of our three convenient offices in Daly City and Atherton, California, or book an appointment with our staff online today. You can also send us a message on our website.