The Dangers and Risks of Putting Off Knee Replacement Surgery

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As exceptionally complex joints, the knees are particularly injury-prone. A knee injury can severely impact your mobility and cause significant pain. For certain conditions, such as advanced osteoarthritis, and severe injuries that don’t respond well to non-invasive methods, knee replacement surgery may be necessary to relieve pain and restore the function of the knee joint. 

Patients may put off knee replacement surgery for a variety of reasons. Some patients don’t want to take time off to recover from the procedure; for others, the idea of undergoing surgery invokes anxiety. However, delaying knee replacement surgery when it’s necessary can pose a range of risks and dangers, including:

Progressing Joint Deformity

Putting off knee replacement surgery will leave additional time for any deformity to form in the joint. As the knee becomes more deformed, it will also become more damaged, stiff, and painful,  which can lengthen and complicate your recovery process. 

Increased Strain on the Rest of Your Body

You’ll continue to experience pain in the knee joint as you put off replacement surgery. When you feel pain in a certain area of the body, it can cause the rest of the body to compensate for it. This is an effort to lessen the existing pain, but increases the strain on other parts of the body. For example, with one injured knee, you may start to place extra stress on the other one. This imbalance can complicate the process of recovering from a knee injury, but can be avoided by undergoing replacement surgery as soon as necessary. 

An Increasingly Complex Surgery

The additional damage that could be done to the knee joint if you put off knee replacement surgery could require a longer and more complex surgery. Replacement surgery becomes more complex when the joint is further deformed and damaged. For example, while you may now only need a partial knee replacement, you could eventually need a total knee replacement if you wait to undergo the procedure. 

To learn more about knee replacement surgery, schedule an appointment at Hernando Orthopaedic today!