Enough is enough: When to consider knee surgery

Ryan DeCoons, M.D., Orthopaedic Surgery When should you consider knee surgery? golf, knee, knee pain, knee surgery Get your knee back; Get your life back. Image from Flickr Every person is different, and each one of our patients elects to have knee surgery for a different reason. Nowadays, arthroscopic knee surgery and even total knee replacement are considered common operations, and surgery can be an empowering and life-changing event for many people. However, surgery is not the solution for all knee pain and is not ideal for all patients. This is a decision that must be carefully weighed by you and your family, with consultation from your physician. Ultimately, the decision to have surgery should be approached as you would any other major life decision. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Here are a few good questions to ask yourself: Is there another option? Knee surgery can be costly and rehabilitation can be prolonged, so surgery should be carefully considered against other treatment options. Many patients find relief with oral medications, physical therapy and even simple modifications to their daily activities. Piedmont Orthopaedic Complex offers a variety of injections and nerve blocks that provide effective and sometimes immediate pain relief. If you are unhappy with the results of the aforementioned treatments, you may want to consider your surgical options. What is this pain truly holding you back from doing? Ask your surgeon about the reasonable expectations of the surgery, which depends on several factors such as your age, current activity level and the degree of damage to your knee. What kinds of results have other patients seen from the specific kind of surgery you are considering? Are you looking to potentially get back out on the golf course or in your garden? Make sure your expectations are realistic. Is your pain affecting your quality of life? If the pain has become so severe that it affects your ability to perform activities of daily living, such as walking, climbing the stairs, or simply standing up, it may be time to consider surgery. Is the pain preventing you from living the kind of active life you want to lead? Are you dedicated to making a change? Achieving optimum results after knee surgery requires commitment. In order to achieve the best results, you will need to follow the advice from your surgeon and physical therapist in the months after surgery.  

So when should you consider knee surgery?

When enough is enough. When you are ready to take control of your life and strive to achieve greater functionality with less pain. If you and your doctor agree that the potential benefits outweigh the risks of the surgery, and if you're ready to truly commit to rehabilitating your knee, go for it. Get your knee back, and get your active life back.   Dr. Ryan DecoonsDr. Ryan DeCoons is an orthopaedic surgeon at Piedmont Orthopaedic Complex. Dr. DeCoons specializes in sports medicine, helping both young athletes and weekend warriors get the most out of their active lifestyles.

posted 05/01/2017 in Sports Medicine

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