More than 600,000 individuals undergo knee replacement in the US every year and in the process, regain or retain their ability to lead productive and active lives. If your knee pain is constant and forces you to compromise on activities or hobbies that you enjoy and you are considering knee replacement but are hesitant, here are 4 common myths that may be holding you back:
Myth: Knee replacement is the last resort.
Truth: By putting off knee surgery until you can no longer tolerate your knee pain and reduced activity level you are simply delaying the inevitable and prolonging your misery. In addition, your muscles become deconditioned because of your reduced activity due to living with knee pain and a prolonged phase of rehabilitation is necessary.
Myth: Knee replacement is for old people.
Truth: While age-related wear and tear of the knee is one of the common reasons for undergoing total knee replacement, there are several other valid conditions such as trauma, disease and genetic predisposition that often warrant surgery at an earlier age. The important deciding factors are quality of life, pain level and mobility. In fact, young patients demonstrate substantial benefit from knee replacement as they lead more active lifestyles.
Myth: Knee implants do not last very long.
Truth: Studies have demonstrated that 85% of the knee implants placed 20 years ago are still functioning well. Bear in mind, these were implants manufactured in the 1990s. With the significant improvements made in implant materials as well as surgical techniques and instruments, today’s knee implants will probably last much longer.
Knee replacement will limit my activities.
Truth: Following knee replacement, you will be able to perform almost all activities of daily living without any pain. In fact, on the same day as the surgery your newly acquired knee will be able to withstand your entire body weight. Walking and physical therapy will be recommended by your doctor soon after. Upon full recovery, taking long walks, low impact aerobics, bicycling, swimming and stair climbing are highly encouraged as they increase the longevity of the implant.
With these myths busted, let nothing stand in the way of making an appointment with your doctor to see if you are a candidate for a total knee replacement.