When should you have a knee replacement? From the New York Times

Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times published an article about knee replacement surgery. The article speaks to the timing of surgery and things a person contemplating such surgery might do beforehand.

Here's a commentary on the article from James D. Cash, MD:

This article points out several important aspects that patients should consider prior to elective orthopedic surgery.

One should have a frank discussion with the physician regarding options available for treatment and the possible risks and complications for both non-operative and operative treatment.  After this discussion, it is much easier for the patient to make an informed decision and answer this key question: Is the expected benefit of the surgical procedure worth the potential risks and complications of the procedure, the anesthetic and the postoperative course.

These studies indicate that for a substantial number of patients who have mild to moderate arthritic changes on X-rays,  all non-surgical options should be exhausted prior to considering  knee replacement surgery.

Dr. Cash is an orthopedic surgeon with Central States Orthopedics in Tulsa. He specializes in the treatment of the knee and shoulder.