Timing is everything, even when it comes to having knee replacement surgery. Latest statistics tell us 90% of Americans are waiting too long to have their knee replaced, whereas 25% are having the surgery too early and missing out on the best benefits. Yes, timing is everything! Let’s discover when to proceed, and what exactly are the risks of delaying knee replacement surgery.
The Consequences Of Knee Osteoarthritis
Our aging population and the growing numbers of those being overweight both contribute to osteoarthritis in the knee joint. Mobility becomes sacrificed as life activities are curtailed.
Pain is the initial reason most people talk with their physician. Patients complain of stiffness and the inability to function normally. Much of OA is related to inflammation inside the joint and is triggered by motion and load bearing.
Resting your knee may help some, but many find they still experience pain during rest and at night. Your pain may be dull and achy or become more intense and unpredictable.
Severe and consistent pain is one of the major reasons patients decide to have knee replacement. As the knee continues to deteriorate, associated health problems arise. Over time this pain can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, loss of intimacy, and risks of falling.
Waiting Too Long
Most surgeons will exhaust all non-invasive remedies before suggesting knee replacement. If those do not help to improve mobility and lessen pain, OrthoNY will recommend surgery.
At that point the decision is left in the patient’s hands. If the patient opts to do nothing at that point, the following complications can occur:
- Decreased mobility
- Inability to even straighten out their legs
- Cardiovascular health problems from lack of exercise and activity
- Gaining even more weight
- Lack of improvement when they do have surgery.
Waiting too long can exacerbate co-existing health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure making recovery more difficult.
Having surgery too soon has its own drawbacks. You may not see enough improvement and many times another second surgery is needed later with the possibility of additional complications.
Trust OrthoNY to only recommend knee replacement surgery after all non-surgical remedies are tried first. In addition, X-rays should clearly show significant degenerative joint disease. Combined with severe consistent pain, the decision should be easier to make.