If you suffer from knee osteoarthritis, at what point should you seriously consider having a knee replacement? According to a BCH orthopedic surgeon, the best time is sooner rather than later.

“Osteoarthritis is a progressive and degenerative disease that worsens over time. Studies show that better outcomes are reported in patients who had the surgery earlier in their disease process,” orthopedic surgeon C. Brian Blackwood, MD, of the BoulderCentre for Orthopedics told a crowd of roughly 125 people during a free health lecture held on March 6 at the Boulder Jewish Community Center.

“Patients who choose surgery early on tend to achieve higher levels of improved knee function and reduced pain,” he said.

Options for excellent pain relief are already available

Another reason not to wait: knee replacement surgery has a high success rate.

“Technique and technology have improved, and so has the procedure’s success rate. More than 90 percent of people who now undergo knee replacement surgery experience significantly less pain after the procedure,” Dr. Blackwood explained.

His advice to patients: Once conservative treatment options start to become less effective, waiting is not worth it, especially when the technology for successful pain relief is already available. The surgery can mean a big improvement in quality of life.

With a robotic arm, precision improves

BCH’s Foothills Hospital is the first facility in Colorado, and one of a handful of sites in the country, to offer Mako total knee replacement – a new advanced surgical option using a state-of-the-art robotic arm and computer-guided mapping software. The new technology allows for the highly accurate placement and alignment of a knee implant. This has multiple benefits, including a shorter recovery time and more natural feeling knee.

Dr. Brian Blackwood has performed more than 600 Mako knee and hip surgeries. He is the first surgeon in Colorado to offer Mako total knee replacement. Appointments are available by calling the BoulderCentre for Orthopedics at 303-449-2730.

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