Currently, more than half a million knee replacement surgeries are performed in the U.S. annually. However, obesity and an aging population is expected to increase that number dramatically over the next several decades. Another reason why more knee replacement surgeries are being performed now is the fact that doctors are no longer waiting to do surgery. In the past, they waited until the last possible moment, when the patient could barely walk. However, today they do not recommend putting off surgery at all. Following are three reasons why.
Delay May Cause Complications
Putting off surgery may actually cause more surgical complications. For example, deformities may form outside the knee joint and the muscles and ligaments surrounding the knee may become weakened and damaged. If this occurs, a smooth and successful surgery is less likely. Knee surgeries that have been put off are often more complex and pose more risks than those performed earlier. What's more, patients who have surgery performed sooner rather than later recover quicker and have much more function in their knee joint than those who wait.
Better Quality of Life
Knee problems cause a considerable amount of pain and disability. Those who are still fairly active and mobile may avoid activity or have trouble concentrating and sleeping due to the pain. People with moderate symptoms may not be able to maintain their normal routine on a daily basis. Those who are in advanced stages of knee joint deterioration may not even be able to walk or get out of bed.
These symptoms can greatly affect quality of life. Since the pain doesn't get better until the surgery is performed, most surgeons prefer to do the surgery while patients are still active, before their knee pain disrupts their life.
Rehab May be Harder
When surgery is put off, rehab often takes more time and is harder due to extensive damage caused to the knee before surgery. Those who have surgery early bounce back quicker and are able to complete rehab fairly quickly compared to those who wait. People who are able to remain active are also more fit at the time of surgery, which aids in recovery.
There are several reasons why you should not put of a total knee replacement if it is medically necessary. Not only will you enjoy better quality of life after your surgery, the surgery and your recovery will be much more successful because of your decision to have surgery now rather than later. Talk to a professional like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates for more information.Share