Total knee replacements are usually performed on people suffering from painful arthritic conditions of the knee severe enough to limit one's normal day to day activities.
Need To Know:
Generally a person would be considered for a total knee replacement if the individual experiences daily pain, restricting not only work and recreation, but also the ordinary activities of daily living.
There must also be evidence of significant destruction of the knee as seen on an x-ray.
Most people who have artificial knees are over age 55, but the procedure is also offered to younger people with knee degeneration if their quality of life is severely affected.
Determining the need for a total knee replacement
The diagnosis is made by:
- A complete history andphysical examination: this allows the physician to determine any correlation between symptoms of pain with past history and demands that have been placed upon the knee. The physician will also inquire about experiencing episodes of instability. The examination should focus on the assessment of swelling, range of motion, ligament stability, and knee alignment.
- X-rays are used to show the extent of damage to the joint and they may suggest a cause for the degeneration.
- Blood tests may be required to rule out inflammatory arthritis (such as Rheumatoid Arthritis) or infection in the knee if there is reason to believe that these conditions are contributing to the degenerative process..