As the baby boomer generation ages, more patients are seeking expert care for the pain associated with knee arthritis. At OSC, our philosophy is to always start with conservative treatment, unless there is a condition or traumatic injury requiring immediate intervention. On your first visit to an OSC orthopaedic physician, you can expect your specialist to prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy or a steroid injection to address the pain and inflammation caused by your arthritis. This type of treatment will address the symptoms, but cannot fix the problem of arthritis. Unfortunately, we have not yet figured out how to repair or eliminate arthritis, so we do our best to treat the symptoms.
Many patients have great success for long periods of time with conservative treatment. They are able to remain active and continue the activities they enjoy. Osteoarthritis, the cause of most knee pain, is a degenerative condition, so the pain and discomfort will increase over time for most people. We often tell patients that they will tell us when they decide they are ready for a knee replacement. We want to allow them time to get accustomed to the idea of major, elective surgery. The path to complete recovery from a knee replacement is a long one and the best outcomes are seen when a patient has realistic expectations. If a patient is suffering from significant arthritis in the knee, it is typically a matter of when, not if, total knee replacement surgery will be recommended.
Over the past 20 years, there have been significant advances made in the technology used for artificial knee replacements. This advanced technology has helped improve outcomes and overall patient experience. We encourage patients to explore all implant options so they can make a fully educated and informed decision.
Why have knee replacement surgery?
The goal is to help you return to activities that you enjoy, and often the best way to do that is to remove the arthritic parts of your knee to eliminate pain. We replace the arthritic compartments with an artificial implant, therefore, the bone on bone rubbing will not occur anymore. The implant is a new, smooth surface that will give you greater freedom of movement.
For more details on preparing for surgery, visit our Knee Surgery section. If you’d like to learn more, make an appointment to see an OSC physician at 757-596-1900.