Examining the Signs That Determine When You Need Surgery Performed by an Orthopedic Surgeon
The hip and knee joints are involved in some of the most common movements and functions of the human body. They are used when we walk, ascend/descend stairs, sit, stand, run, and do more complex activities like sports and exercise. Considering how much we rely on our hips and knees, you can imagine the anguish of dealing with pain or injury in one of those areas.
Even a simple sprain can drastically affect our quality of life. Unfortunately, there are those out there that are suffering from far worse conditions, and their hip or knee joints may need surgery performed by an orthopedic surgeon. That could mean arthroscopic surgery or a minimally invasive hip or knee replacement.
Orthopedic surgeons know that nobody wants to undergo surgery; however, with certain cases involving the hip or the knee, surgery is the best option to permanently fix the issue and reclaim quality of life.
So, how do you know if you have a hip or knee joint issue that requires surgical treatment? Look for the following three major signs.
Sign #1 – Chronic Pain
Chronic hip and knee pain rank at the top of our list because it is the most common indicator that something serious is happening within the joint. Chronic pain is defined by the longevity of the pain, meaning it’s been ongoing for several months.
The following also may apply to you:
- You take over-the-counter or prescription pain medications, but they provide very little or no relief
- You wake up in the middle of the night or cannot get to sleep because of your hip and knee pain
- Your hip and knee pain makes it difficult or impossible to perform simple daily functions like walking
- Your hip and knee pain causes you to limp or walk in an unusual manner
- You need to use a cane or walking aid
If any of these apply to you, feel free to immediately reach out to an orthopedic doctor near you to get examined. Orthopedic doctors are specially trained to discover the root causes of hip and knee pain and related issues. Based upon their findings, they may recommend non surgical treatment or surgery.
Sign #2 – Non-surgical and Conservative Treatments Have Not Improved Your Situation
People who are dealing with hip and knee pain may have already received treatment, but that treatment (or treatments) has yet to improve their situation. Some of the most common treatments for hip and knee pain include:
- At-home methods and holistic treatments
- Anti-inflammatory medications and prescription pain meds
- Steroid injections for knee and hip pain treatment
- Professional physical therapy
If you have tried these methods and none of them improved your situation, then you are possibly a candidate for hip or knee replacement surgery.
Sign #3 – You Have Arthritis or Another Condition That Has Caused Significant Joint Damage
One of the biggest causes of hip and knee pain is the damage caused by arthritis. Those who are suffering with arthritis will notice that the affected joints are constantly in pain and can’t be cured through traditional methods. That’s because arthritis permanently damages the cartilage surrounding the bones of the joint, which causes friction during movement.
If you have been diagnosed with arthritis and are suffering with hip and knee pain, then you are likely a candidate for joint replacement surgery. There are also other conditions that can cause significant hip or knee joint damage. Once you consult with an orthopedic doctor, they will determine the extent of the damage and whether surgical intervention is necessary.
Getting Your Hip and Knee Joints Evaluated by an Orthopedic Doctor>
If you are suffering with hip and knee pain, then your first order of business should be to book an appointment with an orthopedic knee doctor near you at Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita. During your first appointment, they will get a full medical history, examine the affected area, and potentially run some tests like x-rays or an MRI. Once they have determined the root cause of your pain, they will put you on a personalized treatment plan.
In the event that you need surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will go with the least invasive method possible (arthroscopic surgery, or a minimally invasive hip or knee replacement). This ensures that you can recover quicker and decreases your reliance on prescription pain medications.