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HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE READY FOR A KNEE REPLACEMENT?

Updated: Sep 4, 2022



My job as a health care provider is not to make decisions for you. So, if you are looking for an exact answer to this question, I am sorry to disappoint you! My job as a Physical Therapist is to facilitate the rehabilitation process by giving you the necessary information to make an evidence informed decision.


Below you will find some helpful questions that may make your decision-making process a little easier. *It is important to note that this blog post assumes that you have already discussed surgical intervention with your doctor, and have been deemed medically fit for a knee replacement!*


Questions & Answers I want to know from you, the patient:


How are you currently managing your pain?

  • “I just deal with it”

  • Using medication

  • Activity cessation, activity modification, or both

What has helped in the past?

  • What other treatments have provided pain relief?

Have you failed other “conservative options?”

  • Just because you had PT, doesn’t mean it was good PT

Does your knee pain vary?

  • More good days, more bad then good, always bad


Other important factors (sometimes more important)

  • Overall health status (obesity, blood pressure, etc.)

  • Have you had a recent steroid injection?

  • What is your surgical/injury history (Orthopedic Related), that may be implicated in your knee dysfunction?

  • Do you have greater health risks that prevent you from undergoing surgical intervention at this time?

Things I tell my patients to consider....

  • The progressive loss of mobility and functional limitations could have greater long-term impact or health consequence when compared to just your knee pain

  • Pre-operative stiffness CAN matter

  • Are you no longer doing the things that you want or need to do?

The questions above aren’t an all-inclusive list. However, they can certainly provide valuable insight into your functional abilities, which in turn may give us a broader understanding of your readiness scale. Additionally, a thorough Physical/Movement Assessment will allow us to determine whether there is "any low hanging fruit" that could immediately help improve function, mobility, and/or pain levels.


If you (or someone you know) is still struggling with the decision on how to move forward with your knee pain, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a free consultation now! I'd be happy to discuss the relevance of these topics noted above, to see if we can help you BETTER manage your knee pain!


Thanks for reading!

Brian



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