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At What Stage of Knee Pain Does Patient Require Knee Replacement?


In many patients with osteoarthritis and other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, bone deformities, injuries etc., there is extreme knee pain, knee swelling, and the inability of movement at the knee joint and knee ligaments.


Arthroplasty involves replacement of a weight-bearing portion of the knee joint by an artificial structure. In general, the surgery consists of replacing the diseased or damaged joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee. Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a partial or a total knee replacement. Today, knee replacement surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries performed around the world.


Osteoarthritis is an age-related condition which occurs due to the wearing away of the cushion, i.e., the cartilage between the joints of the bones in the knee. Stage 4 of Osteoarthritis is the most severe stage of knee osteoarthritis. At this point, the space between the bones has been severely reduced. The cartilage in the knee gets to the point where it is barely there, with consistent pain consistently. During this stage, one experiences great pain and discomfort when walking or moving the knee joint at all. The best treatment recommended by our orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Ravinder Puri, at CMC may be bone realignment surgery, also known as an osteotomy. This procedure shifts the weight of the body away from the points with greater bone spur growth and damage. But the last resort for extreme cases of knee osteoarthritis and pain is total knee replacement or knee arthroplasty. Debilitating pain from osteoarthritis is much more common in the elderly. Other major causes of debilitating pain include meniscus tears, cartilage defects, and ligament tears. Many patients can be managed with the help of medicines, physical therapy or injections depending on the severity of pain. Some do not get any relief with these treatments. In such patients with advanced conditions, knee replacement surgery, also called knee arthroplasty, is suggested.

A patient may require a knee replacement surgery if he/she has:

  • Severe knee pain that limits everyday activities
  • Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, day or night
  • Long-lasting knee inflammation and swelling that doesn’t get better with rest or medications
  • A bowing in or out of a leg
  • Knee stiffness
  • No pain relief from NSAIDs or can’t tolerate the pain

Meet the Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Mohali here.