The knee is the largest, most complex joint in the human body. It connects the thigh to the lower leg, aiding in overall mobility and stability. Tasked with supporting the body weight and absorbing the upward shock while walking, knees can undergo quite a bit of stress. This makes them highly susceptible to injury or damage.
The knee is the most common joint to sustain an injury.
If you’ve sustained an injury or are feeling chronic pain in your knee, there are plenty of options to explore before you make the jump to surgery – lifestyle modifications, knee braces, and physical therapy being some. But if you hit a wall with noninvasive rehabilitation methods, it might be time to look into further medical assistance.
When Do I Need to Consider Knee Surgery?
- You have a torn or weakened ligament or tendon.
- You have weakened muscles.
- You’re experiencing intermittent knee stiffness.
- You sustain an injury to your knee cartilage.
- The issue goes beyond isolated joint pain and affects other areas of your mobility or stability. For example, you’re walking changes so the injury starts to affect your hip too.
- You’re experiencing a loss of everyday functionality and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to go about your daily routine.
- You feel a “catching” or “grating” sensation in your knee.
What Are the Most Common Types of Knee Surgeries?
As mentioned, the knees experience a lot of wear and tear in our regular lives. If you’re involved in sports, that potential damage can be even more severe. Since this is such a complex part of the body, there are several different surgeries available to address knee issues.
Here are some of the most common:
- Total or Partial Knee Replacement
- ACL, PCL, or LCL Surgery (also known as complex knee surgery)
- Meniscus Surgery
- Kneecap Surgery
Common Misconceptions About Knee Surgery
If knee surgery is the option for you to help regain stability in your life, the prospect of getting knee surgery may sound daunting. But there are a lot of misunderstandings surrounding the process and aftercare. Let’s debunk some of the concerning myths you might believe or have been told.
Only older people get knee surgery.
People of all ages could have to endure knee surgery. Although older people often get this surgery, injury and degenerative diseases could result in a younger person needing surgery.
Surgery will limit my ability to maintain my lifestyle.
This is a huge misconception. The reality is quite the opposite. Knee surgery can restore your ability to do activities your knee pain or injury prevented you from engaging in. Walking, running, hiking, and generally living life can be easier after recovery.
I will be bedridden for months while I recover.
You may assume knee surgery will completely take you out of commission but you can actually be up and moving soon after your surgery. In fact, you may be able to continue on with your normal routine within as little as a few weeks. However, it will take more time before you get back to a higher level of activity such as playing sports since you don’t want to agitate the joint after surgery.
Surgery has a low success rate.
This rumor is grounded in very little fact. Just as with every procedure, there can be a threshold of cases where surgery doesn’t turn out as planned. But knee surgeries maintain a high success rate. For instance, knee replacement surgery has about a 90% success rate.
I will have to quit sports.
Knee pain and injury can make it difficult to participate in the sports you love. Although you’ll have to take it easy during recovery, once you’re healed, surgery will increase your ability to play sports comfortably.
Are You Experiencing Knee Pain?
Don’t ride out knee pain. When you start to encounter issues with pain or potential injury, seek out medical assistance sooner rather than later. If you ignore the issue, it could grow into an increasingly serious problem. As soon as you sense something isn’t right with your knee, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to get it looked at.
If you’re in the Amarillo, Texas area, Parker Sports Medicine and Orthopedics is here for all your knee-related issues. We’ll evaluate your situation and put together a treatment plan that’s right for you. From surgery referrals to regenerative medicine, we have you covered!