A Better Knee: Joint Preservation or Replacement?
Knee pain is a complaint expressed by millions of people. Adults of all ages report varying degrees of knee pain; some associated with a clear injury and some related to less obvious causes. We are accustomed to hearing about professional athlete’s struggles with knee pain and may have more compassionate understanding for these fellows than we do ourselves. After all, they spend their days pushing their body to extremes. How knee pain originates isn’t the most important factor here; what is important is identifying the reason for pain and finding the right solution to restore comfort and mobility.
A common assumption about chronic knee pain is that the joint has degenerated and will need to be replaced. For those who are good candidates for a total knee replacement, this surgery can, in fact, be life-changing. To replace a failing joint with a brand new, “super metal” prosthesis, can mean the end of chronic pain and a return to activities that were once avoided due to discomfort.
At Hartzband Center for Knee and Joint Replacement, all we do are knees and hips. We understand the value of a successful total knee replacement. At the same time, we do not underestimate the complexity of this surgery. Total knee replacement is considered a last resort when a history of knee pain and arthritis is observed. Even in the instance of total knee replacement, consideration is given to the preservation of as much natural structure as possible.
Is Knee Replacement Right for You?
This is the big question we hear: “Do I need knee replacement surgery?” This is the question we set out to answer through a comprehensive examination of the joint, the history of knee pain, and evaluation of potential cartilage or arthritic damage. Additional conversation revolves around current lifestyle habits and physical routines that may affect or be affected by joint replacement. In some cases, it is more advantageous to seek more conservative, joint-preserving treatments before committing to knee replacement.
There are several steps that may be taken before the total knee replacement. Which steps are right for any individual are best determined by a thorough evaluation of the factors mentioned above. There is no singular answer for knee pain. In some instances, anti-inflammatory medications injections, or physical therapy may provide appropriate relief from pain.
It is important to us that our patients know they are not alone. Knee pain is a common concern and one that we address in a way that best suits each patient’s situation and goals. For more information about knee treatments in our Paramus NJ office, call (201) 291-4040.