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Knee Replacement – Causes, When it is Necessary, Recovery, and Life Afterward

Knee replacement surgery, technically referred to as knee arthroplasty, is a medical intervention conducted to alleviate knee pain and restore mobility in patients suffering from significant knee pain and functional limitations. The procedure involves replacing the knee joint with artificial components. Widespread conditions such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis often lead to such damage. Knee replacement surgery is considered when conservative treatments are ineffective with reducing knee pain and improving overall function. Knee arthroplasty often leads to an improved quality of life and allows individuals to carry out daily activities with greater ease.  

In this post, we will discuss the common causes of a knee replacement, when knee arthroplasty is necessary, recovery and rehabilitation, and what it is like to live with a knee replacement 

Common Causes and Symptoms Leading to a Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery, or knee arthroplasty, alleviates pain and restores mobility in patients with significant joint degeneration often caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or injury-induced arthritis. Knee replacement surgery becomes necessary when non-surgical treatments fail to provide adequate relief from symptoms. This may include persistent knee pain that disrupts daily activities, chronic knee inflammation unresponsive to rest or medication, and severe mobility restrictions. Sometimes, visible deformities like bowing in or out of the leg can also require the procedure. In essence, knee replacement is a solution when severe knee conditions significantly compromise an individual’s quality of life. 

Recovery Post Surgery 

Recovery from knee replacement surgery is a gradual process and physical therapy plays a pivotal role in it. Immediately following the procedure, a physical therapist assists with initial movements and walking. In the weeks to follow, a customized physical therapy regimen helps regain strength and mobility in the knee. This includes exercises to improve flexibility, stability, and balance. Post-surgery rehabilitation also addresses pain management, swelling reduction, and wound care. Over time, with consistent and guided physical therapy, patients typically regain the ability to resume daily activities with reduced pain.

Life After Knee Replacement 

Life post-knee surgery often includes a remarkable improvement in one’s ability to participate in everyday tasks. As pain diminishes and mobility increases, patients typically regain the capacity to engage more fully in life. Simple pleasures, such as playing with grandchildren, attending family gatherings, or even just moving comfortably around the home, become possible again. Everyday tasks, like climbing stairs or standing from a seated position, become less challenging. It’s crucial to remember that while high-impact activities might still be off-limits, the enhanced capability for regular movements significantly uplifts the quality of life post-surgery.

Concerned you may be a candidate for knee replacement or trying to avoid surgery? Schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists today to assess where you are and learn more.

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