Q: How do I know if I need a knee replacement?
A: A knee replacement is one tool at our disposal to treat knee arthritis. If all of the non-operative measures like weight loss, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), activity modification, bracing, and injections have failed, it is reasonable to have a conversation with your doctor about the relative risks and benefits of the procedure and how they pertain to you. A knee replacement can treat the arthritis, or loss of the protective cartilage layer overlying the bone in the joint, by capping the bone with a new metal and plastic weight-bearing surface. A person is a candidate for a partial knee replacement if their cartilage loss is confined to only one part of the knee and their symptoms are isolated to that same compartment. If your knee pain is limiting your activities, you should seek treatment as many non-operative and operative treatments can manage pain and restore a more normal level of function.