What is a knee replacement?
Our knees come under a lot of pressure during our lifetime. Gradually the joint can become damaged or worn from ageing, arthritic conditions or injury. If you have been experiencing severe pain that does not alleviate with rest and affects your everyday mobility, quality of life and ability to work, your doctor may recommend a total knee replacement.
A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure to resurface the knee joint with artificial parts. This provides improved stability and mobility and helps to alleviate pain you may have experienced as a result of worn cartilage in the knee, from osteoarthritis or a previous injury.
Are there any alternatives to a total knee replacement?
- Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen may help control the pain.
- Supplements to your diet may also help relieve your symptoms, but you should always check with your doctor before you take these.
- Using a walking stick can support your mobility and make walking easier, whilst wearing an elasticated support on your knee can help it feel stronger.
- Regular moderate exercise can help to reduce stiffness in your knee.
- Physiotherapy may help to strengthen your muscles over time.
- A steroid injection into your knee joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness.
However, many people will find these measures become less effective if your arthritis gets worse or your knee joint is severely damaged and, depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be the best option.