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Patella surgery is usually reserved for patients who do not respond to more conservative treatment options, and even in that case, surgery may be avoided because of the potential side effects. Surgery may end up addressing the problem well in some patients, but in others, the problem may actually worsen, leading to more pain and discomfort. Patients who undergo patella surgery may also be at greater risk of developing osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative condition that affects the joint that underwent surgery. The decision to get a surgery done will be left up to the patient and the doctor.
In most cases, patella surgery is reserved for people experiencing chronic pain, or for those who experience a loss of mobility in the affected joint. The doctor may advise the patient to get surgery to address the situation early on, or he or she may wait to see a recurring pattern of pain, immobility, or other joint problems. The patient will ultimately make the decision as to whether he or she should undergo patella surgery, and should consider several factors before committing to the surgery. The patient should of course consult with his or her insurance company to find out how much of the surgery will be covered, if any.
The patient will also need to consider the recovery time associated with patella surgery. The recovery time will vary according to several factors, including the patient's overall health, weight, exercise habits, age, and so on. The patient will also need to realize that the surgery may not alleviate all or any pain that he or she was experiencing before the surgery; the surgery is, in a way, a gamble for the patient, and the results will not be known until well after the recovery period has ended.
Long-term effects of the surgery may be felt as well. The patient may experience weakness or reduced mobility, and he or she may be more susceptible to further injuries and painful conditions such as arthritis. It is likely that the patient will need to use braces or other supportive devices after patella surgery to ensure the knee stays supported during physical activity. The patient will likely need to alter his or her daily routines for a while after the surgery, and he or she may need to alter athletic activities for an extended period after the surgery as well.