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Is surgery always necessary?

Many people do not require surgery for many years if at all and not everyone who has knee arthritis needs a knee replacement. For many people the symptoms of arthritis subside or remain sufficiently mild with infrequent flare-ups for periods or many years without severely impacting on quality of life. Many people do not experience arthritis until late in life or can reduce symptoms or slow the disease sufficiently that further treatment options are not required. Knee replacement surgery is usually only an option when alternative treatments have been exhausted.

Knee replacement surgery is likely to be offered to you if:

  • your knee is severely swollen, stiff and painful and it is affecting your mobility,
  • knee pain has reduced your quality of life and affects your sleep,
  • everyday tasks have become difficult or impossible,
  • you feel depressed because of your pain and lack of mobility,
  • your knee means you are unable to work or have a normal social life.


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