How to know when it is time to consider Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery – Advice from Dr Daniel Meyerkort Perth Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Centre
Knee replacement can be highly effective treatment to reduce pain and improve function, but the thought of surgery can be daunting for many patients. It is normal to be concerned / anxious or worried when considering knee replacement surgery – Data from the ACORN Registry in Sydney shows that around 70% of patients are anxious prior to surgery and this drop to around 10% after surgery. Surgery is always a balance between risk and benefits, although knee replacement is very routine and safe for most patients it still has small risks associated with surgery. Dr Daniel Meyerkort will usually recommend surgery when the benefits are estimated to be high and the risks are considered low. Below are common signs and symptoms that may suggest you will benefit from robotic knee replacement surgery.
- Increasing levels of pain within the knee, pain affecting most of your daily activities or night pain
- Failure of simple treatments to reduce your pain such as
- Gym based strengthening programs
- Weight loss
- Simple pain-killers such as Paracetamol
- Moderate to severe arthritis on x – ray or MRI scan
- Difficulty staying physically active or avoiding physical activity (eg you have stopped going for walks, playing golf, difficulty with holidays / travel etc)
One of the most common presentations that Dr Daniel Meyerkort sees is that patients say their ‘world is shrinking.’ Over time, patients increasingly do less, avoid recreational activities or they struggle with day to day activity. This is often a sign that patients will benefit from knee replacement surgery.
To summarise, the timing of your knee replacement is when you knee pain is having a significant effect on your day to day activity and quality of life. If you are currently functioning reasonably well with simple treatment such as Physiotherapy, my advice would be to delay knee replacement surgery. If you knee arthritis pain is increasingly severe or affecting your quality of life, you may benefit from seeing an Orthopaedic Surgeon to see if robotic knee replacement is likely to benefit you.