Who Is a Candidate for Total Knee Replacement?

Jan 12, 2023
Who Is a Candidate for Total Knee Replacement?
Do you have chronic knee pain from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? Perhaps your knee pain is the result of trauma. Learn about the factors that help determine whether you’re a candidate for a knee replacement.

You’ve had knee pain for some time, and it hasn’t resolved. You may wonder if you should get a total knee replacement and whether you’re a candidate for the surgery. 

Dr. Ben Albert, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon here at Scottsdale Hip and Knee, performs many total knee replacements that yield a better quality of life for our patients.

Based on your medical history, your medical condition, and the severity of your knee damage, Dr. Albert lets you know whether you’re a good candidate for a total knee replacement. The following are factors he takes into consideration: 

Your knee degeneration is severe and painful 

Whether osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis has caused damage to your knee, both result in the deterioration of cartilage, the tough tissue that cushions the bones in your knees. When enough cartilage is destroyed, you experience severe pain. 

Imaging shows the extent of deterioration of your knee joint, which Dr. Albert shares with you. No amount of physical therapy helps if you don’t have enough cartilage to cushion your joint. 

Conservative treatments haven’t been effective

You’ve had knee pain for quite a while and tried the standard therapies to relieve it. You may be using a brace to help support your knee. You’ve been through rounds of physical therapy. 

Cortisone shots no longer provide enough relief, and too many steroid injections can make your condition worse. You may have tried hyaluronic acid injections. Medications have had little effect. Platelet-rich plasma injections only help some people.

None of the treatments can regenerate the cartilage you need. At the point where conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery becomes the best option. 

Knee pain circumscribes your movement 

If you’re having trouble walking and performing your daily routine, it’s time to think about knee replacement. 

Perhaps you’ve stopped going upstairs in your house and have transformed a room on the main floor into your bedroom. Cooking dinner, doing laundry, and other daily tasks are difficult. When you move, you’re in pain. A total knee replacement can restore your quality of life. 

Knee pain disrupts your sleep

If you experience no relief when you’re at rest, the pain has become your constant companion. If your knee hurts when you lie in bed at night, it’s hard to sleep. Going without sleep impacts your body’s health, raising your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. 

Your knee is always swollen 

Is your knee constantly swollen? It may be unstable, which can lead to a fall. Joint pain increases your risk of a fall. You may try to avoid putting pressure on your knee when you walk, favoring your other leg. This instinct can result in muscle weakness and reduced coordination.

You can’t straighten your knee 

If you’re having a hard time straightening your leg completely, it’s time to think about knee replacement. Waiting too late to have a knee replacement might mean you can’t get back all of your range of motion. 

For a consultation on your knee condition, call or book an appointment online today with Dr. Albert at Scottsdale Hip and Knee in Scottsdale, Arizona.