Knee pain is a common complaint among people of all ages, and especially among older people and those who use their knees a lot. As common as it is, knee pain isn’t always caused by the same underlying problems — and it doesn’t always need the same type of treatment. Some types of knee pain resolve with conservative treatment, like rest, medication and physical therapy. But in some cases, those options just aren’t effective, and even simple tasks can cause significant pain and disability. That’s when knee replacement surgery is often the best option, both for relieving pain and stiffness and for restoring mobility and function of the knee. Here’s what you should know about total knee replacement surgery — and whether it might be a good option for you.
Causes of Chronic Knee Pain
Although some types of knee pain are more common among older people, chronic knee pain can occur at any age. The most common causes of knee pain include:
- Osteoarthritis: A degenerative inflammatory disease that breaks down the joint surfaces over time, especially common among older people and athletes
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the joints
- Post-injury Arthritis: Progressive joint damage that follows an injury to the joint, especially the joint surfaces
Most total knee replacement surgeries are performed in men and women with joint damage caused by arthritis. Because arthritis is progressive, replacing the entire joint is usually the best and only way to prevent future damage and increasing pain and disability. Today’s state-of-the-art joint replacements are designed to function like your natural knee, so you can enjoy your daily routines without pain.
Total Knee Replacement: Advanced Technology for Improved Recovery
More than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed each year in the U.S., and some sources put that number at more than 750,000. Most knee replacement surgeries are performed arthroscopically, using tiny incisions and instruments equipped with very small cameras to see “inside” the joint. Arthroscopy avoids the need for larger incisions, so recovery after surgery is faster and more comfortable. At Prime Surgical Suites, we use arthroscopic techniques combined with the NAVIO® robot-assisted surgical system for total knee replacement surgery, helping patients improve their recovery experience, so they can get back to their normal routines more quickly.
Is Knee Replacement Surgery Right For You?
Knee replacement surgery can be a good option for many women and men with chronic joint pain. There are no absolute restrictions with regard to weight or age. Before your surgery, you’ll have a complete orthopedic evaluation. During your office visit:
- Your doctor will take your complete health and medical history into consideration when deciding if surgery is right for you.
- You’ll also undergo a complete orthopedic evaluation with X-rays or other diagnostic imaging of your knee.
- The doctor will perform a physical examination of your knee to evaluate both your symptoms and the joint’s function.
Recovery Time After Surgery
At Prime Surgical Suites, we perform total knee replacement as an outpatient procedure. Once your surgery is complete, you’ll spend some time in a recovery area before being discharged. You can recover at home with no need for a hospital stay. You’ll begin walking soon after surgery, and you’ll also have physical therapy to restore joint function and to help you recover more quickly. Robot-assisted surgery will also help your recovery be faster and more comfortable, so you can get your life back on track.
At Prime Surgical Suites, we provide state-of-the-art, cost-effective musculoskeletal surgical care in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting for patients of all ages. Located in RiverCrest Medical Park, in Granite Falls North Carolina, we are the region's first outpatient center focused exclusively on orthopedics. Our physician-led center will help restore your active lifestyle and well-being with compassion and orthopedic excellence.