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Why are knee replacements necessary?

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Quick Answer

Knee replacement surgery reduces pain and improves mobility in patients with advanced arthritis in their knees when other treatment options are not working or tolerated, according to WebMD. Doctors recommend surgery to patients with severe knee pain or chronic knee inflammation that decreases quality of life or causes deformity.

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Full Answer

Early treatment for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis includes pain medications, ointments, steroid injections, physical therapy and nutritional support therapies, states WebMD. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain to a tolerable level and to enable patients to live active, full lives. Some patients are unable to take common pain relievers or have other conditions that reduce the effectiveness of their treatment. These patients are prime candidates for knee replacement surgery.

During knee replacement surgery, the surgeon replaces the entire knee joint or only the damaged parts of the knee with artificial materials, maintains WebMD. The extent of the replacement depends on the degree of damage to the knee. Recovery takes several months and requires physical therapy. When patients have severe osteoarthritis, knee replacement surgery reduces the risk of complications such as deformities, progressive muscle weakness, ligament problems and the need for more surgical interventions in the future, states Healthline.

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