Five Myths About Knee Replacement Surgery

If you’re unable to live an active life due to knee pain – we’re here to help. You may have heard the following myths about knee replacement surgery, but we’re here to give you the facts and help you get back to the life you want to live.

Myth #1: Pain is a normal part of aging.

Arthritis aches and pains are not a normal part of aging. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability and causes pain, aching, stiffness and swelling of the joints. Although there are many types of arthritis, most knee pain is caused by just three types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis.

Myth #2: Knee replacement surgery is only for seniors.

There are no absolute age restrictions for total knee replacement surgery. Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient's pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are aged 50 to 80, but orthopedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.

Myth #3: I should delay knee replacement surgery as long as possible.

The risks related to delaying knee replacement surgery often involve the deterioration of the joint, increased pain and lack of mobility. Delaying care may also result in a more complicated surgery and limit your knee replacement options.

Myth #4: Knee replacement surgery means I’ll spend months on bed rest.

Most patients can begin exercising their knee hours after surgery. A physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to strengthen your leg and restore knee movement to allow walking and other normal daily activities soon after your surgery. If you follow your surgeon’s instructions, you should be able to resume most normal activities of daily living within three to six weeks following surgery.

Myth #5: Once I have a knee replacement, it will limit my mobility and activities. I won’t be able to participate in sports.

Most people who have total knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living.

As soon as your doctor gives you the go-ahead, you can return to many of the sports activities you enjoyed before your knee replacement. Realistic activities following total knee replacement include unlimited walking, swimming, golf, driving, light hiking, biking, ballroom dancing and other low-impact sports.

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