5 signs you may need knee replacement surgery

More than 70,000 knee replacements took place across England and Wales last year. It is a major, yet effective and common operation and over time becomes the only way to eradicate pain and improve quality of life. 

How do you know when you need a knee replacement? Here are 5 signs to look out for and discuss with your GP:

  • 24-hour severe pain in the knee and the surrounding area, or elsewhere such as the hip or ankle, which impacts on your daily life even when you are resting

  • Swelling and inflammation of the knee which no longer responds to medication

  • Stiffness in the knee and immobility

  • ‘Bowing’ of the leg

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs no longer provide relief from pain.

Knee replacement surgery is an effective operation and it is important to heed the 5 signs. Failure to do so could lead to a number of problems including:

  • Weakened muscles and ligaments of the knee

  • Deformity of the area outside the knee joint

  • Limited mobility due to chronic pain and loss of function

  • Continued degeneration of the knee joint

  • Reduced success rate of any future surgery

If you have experienced any of these symptoms and are worried, you should discuss them with your GP. Unless your symptoms are very severe and debilitating, your GP is likely to first recommend pain relief and/or physiotherapy before suggesting an operation, but if and when they agree that you need a knee replacement you can ask to be referred to us for your treatment.