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New Orthopedic Study On an Overlooked Benefit of a Total Knee Replacement

As the largest joint in the body and one of the main weight-bearing joints, the knee is particularly susceptible to cartilage wear and eventual osteoarthritis. Joint replacement surgery is a well-established and highly successful procedure used to relieve chronic pain and decreased mobility associated with advanced knee arthritis. Until recently, however, the potential of knee replacement to improve the more intimate aspects of one’s life has been overlooked.

According to a study recently presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, knee replacement surgery can significantly enhance your sex life. Investigators found that up to 90 percent of participants receiving a total knee replacement reported an improvement in sexual functioning as soon as six months after surgery.

It can be extrapolated from these results that people who experience less pain from chronic knee conditions feel better about themselves, and feel better in general, and one of the ways this can be represented is through reports of having a more satisfying sex life after improvement of their pain and dysfunction from having the surgery.

When performed by an experienced orthopedic surgeon for a proper candidate, these life-changing procedures can restore an individual’s ability to engage in a number of daily activities without pain. As a leading Los Angeles knee surgeon, Steven W. Meier, MD routinely assesses patients of all ages for injury and arthritis-related knee pain. When surgery is recommended or necessary, Dr. Meier utilizes the most advanced medical knowledge and techniques to perform arthroscopic or replacement surgery with a high success rate and patient satisfaction.

To learn more about the many possible benefits of arthroscopic surgery and knee replacement or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Meier, please feel free to contact our Beverly Hills office at 310.736.2793.

Results of the Knee Replacement Study

The study included 174 individuals receiving osteoarthritis-related knee replacements ranging from 20 to 80 years of age. Various wellness and sexual functioning criteria were evaluated before surgery, as well as at six and twelve months after surgery. Prior to surgery, 91 percent of participants agreed that their arthritis had a negative impact on their sex life; 67 percent reported pain; 49 percent reported reduced libido, and 14 percent reported an inability to attain proper positioning.

After knee replacement surgery, 84 percent of the original participants reported enhanced general well-being and over 80 percent saw an improvement in the frequency of their sexual activity. Increases in sexual self esteem (55 percent) and libido (42 percent) were also noted, while only 4.7 percent of those in the study reported no change in ability to position themselves correctly.

Sexual activity can be a topic many knee injury or arthritis sufferers avoid discussing with their physicians. Going forward, it can be hoped that the results of this study will encourage open conversation regarding some of the more infrequently discussed, but still important, benefits of arthroscopic surgery and partial or total knee replacement between patients and their surgeons.

Who is Eligible for a Total Knee Replacement?

Total knee replacement is an effective treatment for severe arthritic damage in the knee and other sources of chronic knee pain. When medications, walking supports, and other non-surgical treatments fail to resolve the debilitating symptoms of joint degeneration, Dr. Meier may recommend knee replacement surgery.

Sometimes, however, a person who has previously been told by another doctor that they need total knee or joint replacement surgery may not actually require that exact type of procedure in order to gain improvement in pain and function. In certain cases, arthroscopic surgery or partial joint replacement may be relevant options to restore mobility and reduce pain in patients who are often younger, and hope to delay such a definitive procedure until a later time. It is very important to undergo a thorough diagnostic evaluation and be aware of all reasonable and possible options before making your decision. There may be several options available to help decrease pain and improve knee function, and surgery may be only one of these. Whatever decision you make, you must feel good about it. Dr. Meier can help illustrate these options for you in order for you to make an informed decision.

Patients considering knee arthroscopy or knee replacement must commit to several months of physical therapy rehabilitation in order to reduce pain and swelling, restore range of motion, and rebuild strength in the surrounding muscles of the knee. With dedication and strict adherence to a rehabilitation schedule, you will be well on your way to a successful recovery and greater freedom of movement with less pain.

Contact a Beverly Hills Orthopedic Surgeon

Steven W. Meier, MD is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with fellowship training in sports medicine and advanced arthroscopic procedures. As a leading expert in the field of joint preservation, Dr. Meier offers a variety of cutting-edge therapies for the treatment of knee conditions and injuries.

To learn more about your candidacy for arthroscopic or knee replacement surgery or to schedule your initial consultation, please contact us by calling 310.736.2793. You may also fill out our contact form on our website and a representative from Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine will be in touch with you shortly!

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The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.