When is Knee Replacement Necessary for Arthritis Sufferers?

When is Knee Replacement Necessary for Arthritis Sufferers?

Knee osteoarthritis can be debilitating, especially for elderly individuals. The idea of a knee replacement can be daunting, but understanding when it is necessary can help you make an informed decision. This blog post addresses everything you need to know about arthritis of the knee, when knee replacement becomes essential, and how advancements in technology have revolutionized the procedure.

Understanding Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the cartilage cushioning the ends of bones in your knee joint wears down over time. This leads to pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the knee.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Common signs include:

  • Pain during movement or after inactivity
  • Stiffness, particularly in the morning or after sitting for long periods
  • Swelling around the knee
  • Decreased flexibility and range of motion
  • A grating sensation or popping sound during movement

Causes and Risk Factors

While aging is a primary risk factor, other causes and risk factors include:

  • Genetics
  • Obesity, which puts extra stress on the knee joints
  • Previous knee injuries
  • Certain occupations that involve repetitive stress on the knees
  • Gender, as women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis

Diagnosing Osteoarthritis

Diagnosis typically involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans. Blood tests may also be conducted to rule out other types of arthritis.

When Does Osteoarthritis Warrant a Knee Replacement?

Deciding to undergo knee replacement surgery is significant and should not be taken lightly. Here are some indicators that it might be time to consider this option:

Persistent Pain

If you experience severe pain that limits your daily activities and does not respond to conservative treatments like medication, physical therapy, or injections, it may be time to think about knee replacement.

Decreased Mobility

A significant decrease in your ability to move and perform everyday tasks, such as walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of chairs, is a strong indicator.

Impact on Quality of Life

When knee pain and stiffness prevent you from enjoying life, whether it’s participating in hobbies, social activities, or even sleeping well, it’s worth discussing surgical options with your doctor.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Knee Osteoarthritis

Before considering surgery, most doctors will recommend trying non-surgical treatments. These may include:

Lifestyle Modifications

Losing weight, engaging in low-impact exercises, and avoiding activities that strain the knee can help manage symptoms.


Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, NSAIDs, or prescribed medications can relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can design a program to strengthen the muscles around your knee, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.

Advancements in Knee Replacement Surgery

Technology has significantly improved the outcomes of knee replacement surgeries, making the procedure safer and more effective.

Minimally Invasive Techniques

Minimally invasive surgery involves smaller incisions, less tissue damage, and quicker recovery times. This approach reduces postoperative pain and speeds up the rehabilitation process.

Customized Implants

Advances in 3D printing allow for customized implants tailored to the patient’s anatomy. This ensures a better fit and more natural movement post-surgery.

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic systems enhance precision during surgery, leading to improved alignment and placement of implants. This technology minimizes errors and optimizes surgical outcomes.

The Role of POSMC in Knee Replacement

POSMC specializes in knee replacement surgery and offers a comprehensive approach to care, including its therapy centers to support recovery.

Expert Surgeons

POSMC’s team of experienced surgeons utilizes the latest techniques and technologies to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.

Comprehensive Care

From initial consultation to postoperative rehabilitation, POSMC provides a seamless and supportive experience. Their therapy centers are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to aid in your recovery.

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

If you’ve decided to proceed with knee replacement, here’s what to expect:

Preoperative Assessment

Your doctor will conduct a thorough evaluation, including medical history, physical examination, and necessary tests to ensure you’re fit for surgery.

Preoperative Instructions

You’ll receive detailed instructions on preparing for surgery, including fasting, medication adjustments, and arrangements for postoperative care.

Hospital Stay

Most patients stay in the hospital for a few days post-surgery. During this time, your medical team will monitor your progress and manage pain.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery from knee replacement surgery varies from person to person but typically involves the following phases:

Immediate Postoperative Period

Initially, you’ll focus on pain management, wound care, and gradually increasing mobility with the help of physical therapists.


Physical therapy will play a crucial role in regaining strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Your therapist will guide you through exercises and activities to support your recovery.

Long-Term Outcomes

With proper care and rehabilitation, most patients experience significant pain relief and improved function. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and attend follow-up appointments.


Knee replacement surgery can be life-changing for individuals suffering from severe osteoarthritis. By understanding when it is necessary and the advancements in technology that have improved the procedure, you can make an informed decision about your treatment options.

For personalized advice and expert care, consider consulting with the team at POSMC. Their comprehensive approach, from surgery to rehabilitation, ensures you receive the best possible outcome. Take the first step towards a pain-free life and book an appointment with POSMC today.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

Dr. Randal L. Troop

Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine
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Dr. John W. Barrington

Hip, Shoulder & Knee Replacement
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Dr. John E. McGarry

General Orthopedics, Shoulder, Knee and Sports Medicine
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