Blog

When to consider knee replacement

If you have painful knee arthritis, there are a number of non-surgical treatment options available. Over time, you may find that these are no longer working as well. Many patients find that knee injections, for instance, tend to work for a shorter duration with each subsequent injection.  You may be left wondering when you should take the step towards a knee replacement. This is a highly personal decision, but here are some things to consider:

  1. You’ve been told by an orthopedic surgeon that you have significant arthritis
    There are other reasons that a knee can hurt besides arthritis. Knee replacement is indicated for significant arthritis.  Arthritis means loss of cartilage, the bearing surface of your knee. This can typically be assessed on an x-ray. Patients without significant arthritis don’t reliably experience improvement in pain from a knee replacement, unfortunately.

  2. Your knee is affecting your quality of life on a daily basis
    You may find that you are avoiding stairs. That one mile walk you used to take every day has become intolerable. Nighttime pain is a red flag, as sleep issues have a profound effect on quality of life. When your knee is to this point despite having tried conservative therapies (see below), it may be time to consider having the knee replaced.

  3. The simpler fixes are no longer working
    There are a number of nonsurgical options to treat knee arthritis. A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that physical therapy was superior to knee injections for decreasing pain and improving function for patients with mild to moderate arthritis. This doesn’t mean that injections aren’t a good option; rather, I interpret this as saying we shouldn’t ignore physical therapy for arthritis! Low impact exercise and over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen can also be beneficial.

  4. The surgery will be reasonably safe
    There are a number of factors that affect the safety of getting through a knee replacement safely with a good outcome. Thankfully, most patients do! These factors include diabetic control, blood circulation issues, the ability to heal a surgical wound, smoking status, among many others. We want to keep our patients safe, and fortunately, some of these factors can be improved to make the surgery safer.

The decision whether to undergo a knee replacement is highly personal. If you find yourself facing this decision, hopefully this has been useful! Additionally, it never hurts to reach out to your surgeon. We want to help you whether that involves surgery or not, and sometimes a thorough discussion can clarify things.

Mark Jordan, MD
About Dr. Mark Jordan

Dr. Mark Jordan provides orthopedic services at Door Orthopedic Center in Sturgeon Bay. The Door Orthopedic Center at Door County Medical Center is a state-of-the-art facility paired with a top-notch orthopedic team that can get you back to daily living and your favorite activities as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment at Door County Medical Center's Door Orthopedic Center, visit our Door Orthopedic Center page or call Door County Medical Center at 920-743-5566.

Published 1/19/2022 2:03:00 PM
Tags: arthritis, Door Orthopedic Center, Dr. Mark Jordan, health, news, surgery

Search our blog

Popular Tags

3D Mammography   75   75th   acid reflux   addiction   adrc   advance directive   Affective   alcohol   Algoma   Algoma Community Wellness Center   als   alzheimer's disease   Ambassador   American College of Healthcare Executives   Angel Ball   anniversary   antibody treatment   anti-bullying   apnea   art   art for health   art gallery   arthritis   athlete   athletic edge camp   athletic trainer   Auxiliary   award   awards   Awareness   back   behavioral health   bone marrow transplant   Bravo   Breast Cancer Awareness Month   breast cancer prevention   breastfeeding   Brian   brussels sprout slaw   Burkitt Leukemia   C.H.I.P.   cancer   cardiac   cardiopulmonary services   catholic   catholic sisters   Celebrate Community   celebration   center   Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services   ceremony   certification   childcare   children   cold flu prevention   colon cancer   colonoscopy   community   community health   Community outreach   Coronavirus   COVID 19   COVID-19 booster   COVID-19 vaccine   critical access hospital   CT scanner   cyberbullying   da Vinci robot   da Vinci Surgical System   Daylight Savings Time   DCMC   DCMC Auxiliary   DCMC staff   dementia   dental clinic   dentist   depot   depression   diabetes   diagnostic imaging   Diana Wallace   diet   Disorder   dogs   Domestic Violence Awareness   donate   donor   Door County   Door County CARES   door county half marathon   Door County Meals Cooperative   door county schools   Door County YMCA   Door Healthy Weight Center   Door Orthopedic Center   Dr. Daniel Tomaszewski   Dr. Elizabeth Gaida   Dr. Mark Jordan   Dr. Michael St. Jean   Dr. Reisner   Dr. Rory Johnson   Dr. Shaun Melarvie   drive-through clinic   e-cigs   economic impact   economy   Edge 3D   Education   emergency department   employee art   employment   environment   environmental stewardship   exercise   fair   Family   family medicine   family practice   farmer's market   first responders   fitness   five   five star hospital   Florence Nightingale   Foundation   fundraiser   gallery   gardening   Gerald   GERD   gynecological procedures   handwashing   happy holidays   head   health   health tips   healthcare   healthcare leader   healthcare leaders   healthy eating   heart   heart healthy   heart-attack   heartburn   Heartburn and Reflux Center   Help Our Heroes   hernia   hernia screening   hip replacement   history   HOPELINE   hospice   hospital   House and Garden Walk   HPV   Human Kindness Project   immunization   infant   insomnia   internships   job   jody boes   joint replacement   June   kelsie ladick   kids   Kids' health   kim   knee replacement   LEAP   lice   life   LifeAssist   living will   luke spude   lyme disease   mammography   marinara sauce   medical services   medication   memory   memory clinic   memory loss   men's health   men's health month   mental health   mental illness   milk   ministry   ministry fund   mission and values   MRI   National Donate Life Month   national heath decisions day   national hospital week   National Nurses Week   National Organ Donation Day   National Women’s History Month   navigator   New Year   newborn   news   non-profits   North Shore Medical Clinic   novel coronavirus   nurse   nursing   nursing program   nutrition   nwtc   obesity   OB-GYN   OPSU   organ   organ donor   orthopedics   outpatient surgery   outreach   patient   patient care   Patti Balestrieri   Paula Hobart   pelvic health   pets   physical activity   physical therapy   post exercise tips   PRC   Prevea   prevention   primary care   Providers   recipe   recovery   reflux   rehab services   resolutions   robotic surgery   rotator cuff repair   running   rural   rural healthcare   SAAM   SAD   scholarship   scholarships   school   School Nursing   Seasonal   senior life solutions   senior therapy   Seniors   services   sexual assault   Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner   Shop and Dine Day   Sister Bay   skilled nursing   skilled nursing facility   skin cancer   Sleep   sleep disorder   sleep lab   smoking   snf   social justice   specialty providers   sports   sports medicine   sports training   St. Francis   star   state-of-the-art   Stephens   stroke patients   studer group   suicide awareness   suicide awareness month   suicide prevention   summer   summer programs   sun care   surgery   sweet dreams   swiggum   technology   Teen health   Teens   telemedicine   teleNICU   telepediatrics   The Angel Ball   The Community's Garden   The Healing Project   ticks   tissue donor   to   training tips   Treatment   urgent care   vaccination   vaccinations   vaccine   vaping   virtual appontments   virtual visit   volunteers   wall   Washington Island   wellness   Wendy Ulrikson   women's center   women's health   work injuries   Worrick   years   YMCA   youth workshops