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Insurance Article

Opting for a Knee Replacement? Think Again!

December 04 2018
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Look for alternatives before taking this life-changing decision

One of the largest joints in the body, the knee is often a cause of concern for most individuals. A healthy knee, which allows us to move, walk and run around with fluidity and flexibility, is now facing the brunt of modern lifestyles and habits. With increasing disposable incomes, availability of home delivery of food and everyday items, and easy transportation people have become less mobile.

Right from clothing to grocery, everything can be ordered and delivered from the comfort of your home or office, without the need for visiting the store. Moreover, the unhealthy lifestyle including reduced physical activity and poor eating habits are adding onto the burden on the knees along with causing other problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and putting the heart at risk.

Having a knee replacement surgery could be a life changing decision, irrespective of your age. However, make sure you ask yourself and your doctor these 5 questions before opting for knee replacement surgery.

  1. Have you tried enough alternative options?

  2. Usually doctors first suggest non-operative options such as physical therapy, weight loss, suitable light exercises or medications to strengthen the knee. Knee surgery is more of an “elective” procedure rather than a prescribed option. Hence, make sure you evaluate these options and try them to check if it alleviates the pain and makes life easy with natural remedies and less invasive procedures.

  3. Are you doing it at the correct age?

  4. Knee replacements are not as durable as your natural knee structure and lasts for only 15-20 years. If you are getting a knee replacement done at the age of 50 then you may want to reconsider a revision surgery at the age of 65 or 70. Moreover, considering that you will be older by the time you reach your 60s or 70s, the second surgery would be more difficult and harder to perform successfully. Hence, it is advisable to consider knee replacement surgery if you are over 50 years.

  5. Which would be the ideal surgery for your knee?

  6. Getting a total knee replacement surgery is not the solution for your knee pains. Your knee surgery depends upon a variety of factors which include your age, physical health, extent of the pain and discomfort, and other factors. Hence, it is best to take opinions for the ideal surgical procedure for your knee pain. There are various knee surgery options such as total knee replacement, partial knee replacement, knee arthroscopy, cartilage treatment as well as knee osteotomy.

  7. What could be the outcome of your surgery?

  8. Knee surgery could be a life-altering decision as it will not only affect you physically but mentally too. It is best to research and take different opinions from trusted and experienced surgeons to evaluate the possible outcomes once you undergo the surgical process. Knee replacement does not guarantee improved mobility or pain alleviation, although it may certainly help your cause. Hence, it is important to have appropriate expectations and prepare yourself mentally to undergo the treatment.

  9. What could be done to increase the odds for a successful surgery?

  10. If you are sure about undergoing the surgery, you may consult with your physician and surgeon to take some precautions and do your bit to increase the chances of a successful procedure and outcome. Ideally, start with some light exercises for strengthening the area surrounding the knee, quit alcohol and smoking for a more resilient and healthy body, and shed some weight before undergoing the procedure. Making these small lifestyle changes and increasing your physical activity can help you prepare better mentally as well physically before and after the surgery is performed.

    Knee replacements are now becoming increasingly common amongst age groups. However, with new technologies coming into play, the risk factor associated with knee replacement surgery is as low as 5%. Nowadays, the younger generation is also prone to age-related illnesses due to the lifestyle they lead, hence it is best to have a health insurance as soon as you touch your 30s, so that you don’t have to bear the additional burden of expensive procedures in the event you are struck with an ailment down the line.

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