When is knee replacement necessary if I have arthritis of the knee?

If you have arthritis of the knee, knee replacement may be necessary if pain is limiting your activity. The recommendation for knee replacement surgery is usually based on a person's symptoms, age and general health. Someone who has already been diagnosed with arthritis of the knee will often undergo injections in the knee, such as a steroid or hyaluronic acid, to help with pain. If these injections become less helpful or not helpful at all and the pain is limiting your activity, you may be a candidate for knee replacement.

Knee replacement is recommended when arthritis in the knee has gotten to the point that it interferes with the activities of daily living.

Dr. Juan P. Villablanca, MD

A knee replacement is not always necessary if you have arthritis of the knee. The key is to manage your symptoms to improve your quality of life, decrease pain and allow you to continue to do the things you need and want to do. Although arthritis cannot be "cured" and does not go away, pain can be managed with lifestyle changes and treatments such as injections of medication. For arthritis that is mild to moderate, these therapeutic procedures work very well.

If, on the other hand, your arthritis has progressed to a point where you really can’t function, or if the injections help you very little if at all, then it is reasonable to consider a knee replacement.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.