Joint pains and mobility issues are the most common aspects of aging, and your knees often bear the brunt. Not surprisingly, thousands of seniors across the US opt for knee replacement surgery every year. Since it is a chronic issue, you cannot go without treatment, and you will probably need surgery at some stage. You may delay it to some point, but the sooner you address the concern, the better. Regular checkups and assessment of symptoms can help you pick the right time for the surgical procedure. Here are some signs you must opt for it sooner rather than later.
Aging often results in osteoarthritis, a painful condition affecting your joints. If the pain in your knees becomes severe and persistent pain, consider it as a serious red flag. Look out for other signs such as sudden swelling around the knees because it indicates the worsening of the condition. If the pain is unbearable and rest, medication, and physical therapy do not seem to help, knee replacement is the only way to alleviate the problem. The sooner you get it done, the better.
The last thing you will want to deal with as a senior is mobility problems. If you feel that your knees are freezing up, you must act quickly and get a surgical consultation right away. You may also get a strange feeling of something rubbing or catching on within the knee. The symptoms can affect your mobility eventually and even hamper the movement of the entire leg. Other implications include limping, weakness, and numbness radiating down the leg into the foot.
A decline in quality of life
Another indication that you need help is a consistent decline in quality of life. At some point, the problem may hamper your daily activities like walking, showering, climbing stairs, bathing, and even sitting and standing. You must see a knee surgeon and schedule surgery right away before you become dependent on others. Delay can make the condition only worse.
Change in appearance
A sudden change in the appearance of your knee should ring warning bells. For most patients, it happens even without trauma. Look out for changes such as swelling, physical displacement, or a bowed appearance of the knee. You need immediate examination for the problem. Bowing is specifically a reason to worry because a lack of treatment can affect the entire leg.
Alternative treatments do not work
When you have knee problems, the doctor will not recommend surgery right away. They will suggest medications and physiotherapy as the first line of treatment. Further, weight loss and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage can help patients with pain relief and better mobility. But these treatment options may stop giving results eventually, indicating it is time for knee replacement.
Although knee replacement is a complicated procedure, it can help restore the quality of life as you age. It is vital to see a qualified surgeon and follow the recommendations for surgery on time. The success rate of the procedure is impressive, and you can live normally thereafter.