When the painful effects of a damaged knee can no longer be helped, it may be time for a total knee replacement. Although this surgery is the most common joint replacement done, it is still a major operation and careful thought and consideration is a must. Generally speaking a doctor will go through several different treatments before total knee replacement is even offered.
Treatments can range from taking anti-inflammatory medication to having steroid shots in the knee. They may also try to decrease any activities that bring on severe pain. Basically, all steps that can be done first will be done prior to this surgery. The procedure itself is aggressive, cutting bone and cartilage from the thigh and shin bones, capping them with metal or plastic knee implants, and replacing the kneecap if necessary.
There are risks involved, like deep blood clots, to consider. Recovery takes time and a lot of rehabilitation. It usually takes six weeks before a patient can put their full weight on the joint, and full recovery takes much longer than that. This surgery, if performed by a qualified orthopedic doctor, can allow patients to regain a good quality of life.