When does one need to have total knee replacement surgery?

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Total knee replacement surgery is an invasive procedure that is used to relieve knee pain. Also known as knee arthroplasty, it is performed due to severe osteoarthritis. Some of the other reasons include knee related diseases such as rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis. It is performed on older individuals but surgery on younger individuals is not unheard of. There are numerous hospitals in India that perform the surgery and one can even book surgery packages online.

The need for total knee replacement depends entirely on the individual. The pain that is experienced takes place in stages which ranges from mild aching to immobility. The pain predictably starts in a very mild manner. This mild pain may be there for years before it develops into anything serious. After this, the pain is likely to start affecting one’s lifestyle. One of the signs is when it becomes visually apparent that the individual is suffering from knee pain. This maybe in the form of a modified gait to reduce the pain. There are other issues that one is likely to face such as pain when performing regular physical activity such as walking, squatting and getting up from the bed. For some individuals, the pain can be bad enough that it starts affecting their sleep which can be managed only through painkillers.

Surgery is an option but there are other alternatives to manage the pain. This can be beneficial during the early stages. Most doctors recommend going through a conservative set of treatments before taking up surgery. Some of the treatment options are listed below:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI) Management: The knees are complicated structures that take the weight of the entire body. As one’s weight to height ratio increases the stress on the knee joint increases. People with the BMI of over thirty with knee pain are likely to experience heightened discomfort. Even for those who wish to undertake surgery, doctors recommend weight loss before moving forward.
  • Physical Exercise: This may seem contradictory as physical movement tends to be the cause of knee pain. However, this is a common misconception as the pain during physical movement is a mere symptom and a sedentary life only serves to weaken the knee region. There are many exercises recommended by physiotherapists, the most effective of which is called the closed chain quadriceps strengthening.
  • Steroid injections: These can be given every three months to manage the pain. They are highly effective and have minimal side effects. However, it is to be noted that many people who use these injections inevitably go for surgery. The injections are to be taken only when the pain becomes unmanageable.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication: Tylenol is used to provide relief though there are possibilities of side effects.

While there is no need to jump the gun in getting surgery, there are instances where surgery is required. Bone-on-Bone arthritis would require surgery. The best way to be certain about this is through an x-ray. Another factor for surgery is limited mobility affecting the daily life of an individual. If one is experiencing extreme discomfort and unable to carry out even basic functions despite medication, surgery is the best option.


Total knee replacement surgery has been around since the late 1960’s. The methods used to perform the surgery have gotten advanced over the years which have minimized the risks involved. The surgery is considered relatively safe and the amount of people doing the surgery is only set to increase over the years.


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