Our orthopedic knee surgeons have put together the five most common myths of knee replacements.
Each year over 600,000 individuals in the U.S. undergo knee replacement surgery. Unfortunately, misunderstandings regarding the surgical procedure, recovery, and prognosis deter many individuals suffering from joint degeneration from undergoing this life-changing treatment.
Myth #1: Knee replacement is a last resort.
One of the most common perceptions of knee replacement is that it should be postponed for as long as possible. However, joint degeneration is a chronic condition that continues to do damage over time. By delaying surgery, many people who are good candidates for knee replacement begin to give up daily activities that are important to them because they become too painful. Increased damage around the knee due to delayed surgery can also make return to activity more difficult if the replacement is eventually performed.
Technological advances, such as the ability to perform partial knee replacement, have greatly reduced downtime and have enhanced the long-term success of replacement surgery. Talking with an orthopedic surgeon about how knee pain impacts your life can help determine your candidacy for a knee replacement.
Myth #2: Knee replacements are for people over the age of 50.
Candidacy for a knee replacement is not based on age, but on an individual’s level of pain, mobility, and quality of life. While age-related osteoarthritis is a common cause for knee replacement, other conditions such as post-traumatic arthritis, inflammatory (Rheumatoid) arthritis, previous surgery, and genetic predisposition can cause joint degeneration at any age. Many younger individuals who suffer from chronic joint degeneration can benefit substantially from knee replacement.
Myth #3: Knee replacement requires a lengthy hospital stay.
Minimal incision approaches to knee replacement have greatly reduced hospital recovery time, which is often based on a patient’s pain level. Many of our patients have returned home within 1 to 3 days of a knee replacement.
Myth #4: A knee replacement will significantly limit your activity.
Despite this common misconception, a knee replacement will restore your ability to perform most activities pain-free. On the same day of surgery, your knee can withstand full body weight. Walking and physical therapy are encouraged soon after. Upon full recovery, low-impact athletics including hiking, swimming, bicycling, stair climbing, and golf are highly encouraged. The only thing our physicians might recommend limiting in knee replacement patients is running.
Myth #5: Knee prosthetics will not last very long.
When knee replacement was first performed in the 1970s, the relatively crude prosthetics lasted about 10 years. This is not the case anymore, as new research advances are continually being made to improve the durability and performance of prosthetic joints. Recent studies have shown that 85% of knee implants last 20 years or more. Since these studies assess implants that were made 20 years ago, the advanced prosthetics used in today’s knee replacements are likely to function for even longer.
Knee replacement is often the ultimate solution for individuals with painful and debilitating joint degeneration. If you are suffering from chronic knee pain that continues to limit your activity, an experienced orthopedic surgeon can help to determine your candidacy for a knee replacement.
Contact a Beverly Hills Knee Surgeon
The Joint Surgery Center of Excellence houses a team of highly skilled orthopedic surgeons specializing in knee replacement surgery. Our expert knee surgeons are well trained in the most advanced knee replacement procedures and are leaders in the field of joint preservation. Our surgeons’ unparalleled technical expertise combined with our state-of-the-art outpatient facility in Beverly Hills helps ensure the best results and optimal recovery for our patients.
To schedule a consultation with one of our renowned orthopedic surgeons, contact us at (888) 318-2842.