People who suffer from knee pain are often limited in which physical activities they can do. They may even stop attending important events because it is too difficult to move around.
The most frequent cause of discomfort and chronic knee pain is arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability in the US, and regularly popular belief, it is not age discriminatory. Two-thirds of people who have been diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65.
Others suffer from knee pain after a traumatic injury that may have occurred, a few or many years ago.
Regardless of the cause of the pain, surgery can make a significant change in your mobility and reduce or eliminate the pain you live with on a daily basis. But there are some important things to consider before going under the knife.
There are risks associated with surgery, rehabilitation takes time, and it requires real effort on the part of the patient. Is knee surgery the right decision for you? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:
1) How bad is the pain? If you've cut back on every day activities because of knee pain or the pain is so bad it wakes you at night, some medical professionals may consider you a good candidate for surgery.
You may also consider which types of movement aggravate the pain.
2) Is your knee pain causing other health issues? Have you gained weight as a result of being less active since your knee pain started or have there been any other changes in your physical health? Surgery may be an option if your lack of activity is causing other problems.
3) Have you exhausted all other treatment options? Surgery should be a last resort. Talk to your doctor about other treatment options including over-the-counter medications, physical therapy or injections before you consider any type of knee surgery.
4) How much will it cost? Typically, a total knee implant costs from a few thousand to several thousand dollars, plus orthopedic surgeon fees and the cost of your hospital stay. While most knee surgeries are considered a necessity and partly if not fully covered by insurance, you are sure to incur some out-of-pocket expenses.
5) Are you ready for rehabilitation? After several days in the hospital, some people will recover in a rehabilitation center, although most choose to return home. Either way, it will be several weeks before you will be able to resume normal activity, so be sure to consider who will help take care of you during that time. And make sure your house is equipped with everything you will need during recovery. Also, are you able to take an extended period of time off from work?
Be sure to discuss how knee pain affects your life with your doctor. Ask questions and together, the two of you will decide on the best course of action.