If the pain in your knee can’t be controlled, you may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery. However, there are good reasons why you should look at knee replacement as a “last resort”: (10)
- Any kind of surgery involves risks; these risks increase as you get older.
- While knee replacements usually work, they involve not only surgery but a physical rehabilitation process; regaining your mobility can take weeks or months.
- If the knee replacement fails, your only option would be to get a second replacement…and go through surgery and rehabilitation all over again.
- Even a successful knee replacement can wear out over time; the younger you are when you get one, the more likely you’ll need a second replacement in your lifetime.
In general, the longer you can keep your own knee, the better—assuming your pain is under control and your lifestyle isn’t limited by it.
You and your doctor should explore all other treatment options before selecting surgery to manage your knee pain, delaying knee surgery.