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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Is it time for knee replacement surgery?

Posted By: Advancing Care

Your knees just aren’t what they used to be; getting up and down, climbing stairs, sometimes even walking around is painful. You’re not alone: Among load-bearing joints, the knee is the one most commonly affected by osteoarthritis, a diagnosis that’s second only to the common cold in frequency. Fortunately, should the osteoarthritis advance beyond a certain stage, knee replacement surgery provides encouraging results. “There are steps you can take to manage symptoms and slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis,” says Arup Bhadra, MD, Director of the Total Joint Replacement Center at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). “Avoid heavy pounding activities, wear well-supported shoes, swim, stretch gently…and ask your doctor about injections of cortisone, viscous supplements or platelet-rich plasma.” Physical therapy can improve range of motion, strength and muscle tone, as well as gait and pain symptoms. “If pain and limitations persist, surgery is the next consideration,” says Dr. Bhadra. “Minimally invasive muscle-sparing techniques and regional/local anesthesia make blood loss minimal, so most patients can be discharged to home physical therapy very soon.” He recommends attending joint replacement classes to quell anxieties and answer questions, noting that recently introduced computer-navigated robotic joint replacement surgeries offer another cutting-edge solution.