More and more people with severe knee pain are choosing to have knee replacement surgery. Modern techniques and implants have made knee surgery quicker and easier on patients than ever before.
Candidates for total knee replacement have usually tried other treatments, such as medications, physical therapy or injections. X-rays often show that cartilage in their knee has worn away, making the bones rub together and causing pain and more damage.
Scripps orthopedic surgeons provide knee replacements and other knee procedures across the San Diego region for local and out-of-town patients.
Chronic knee pain is often caused by some type of arthritis in the knee, including:
- Osteoarthritis, when shock-absorbing cartilage in the joint has worn away
- Post-traumatic arthritis, when old knee injuries continue to cause pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis, when your immune system mistakenly attacks your joints because of this autoimmune disease
The most common reason for a knee replacement is severe osteoarthritis in the knee.
Some of the most common symptoms of chronic knee pain may include:
- A feeling of instability in the knee
- Knee often buckles and/or feels like it “gives out”
- Sharp pain in the knee
- Dull, burning discomfort in and/or around the knee
- Swelling and stiffness of the knee (inability to straighten the knee)
- Knee feels warm to the touch
- Popping, crunching and/or clicking sounds in the knee
- Frequent knee pain at night
The two types of knee replacement surgery are partial knee replacement and total knee replacement.
William Bugbee, MD, offers insight on knee pain, advancements in knee replacement surgery and post-surgery recovery.
Knee replacement can end chronic pain and help people regain mobility. While modern techniques have made the procedure easier on patients, it’s important to know if you’re a candidate, what to expect from the surgery and how long it might take to recover.
Knee replacement surgery is among the most common surgeries in the US, and Scripps surgeons perform more than 3,000 knee and hip replacement surgeries each year. That total is more than any other local health care provider, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
Overall, the orthopedic surgeons at Scripps have been nationally ranked as one of the best for joint treatments.
Knee replacement is not an option without a diagnosis based on imaging and a physical exam. Some people with serious health problems may not be suitable candidates for knee replacement surgery.
Health insurance providers have different requirements before they will approve a knee replacement procedure. Usually, non-surgical treatments are required before any surgery would be scheduled, including:
- Weight loss
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Knee injections (hyaluronic acid or cortisone steroid)
- Physical therapy or sports therapy
Scripps offers sports therapy and physical therapy at more than half a dozen locations in San Diego. Our team of experts uses the latest techniques and technologies to help people regain strength and mobility to get back in the game. Talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a specially trained Scripps rehabilitation specialist for knee therapy.
As leaders in orthopedic care, we know what it takes to keep joints healthy. That’s why we equip our patients with support services and resources to help them achieve their best possible outcome. From connecting you with rehab services to empowering you with educational resources, Scripps offers a comprehensive lineup to help you along every step of your journey.