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Is it time to consider a replacement?

My knee is not terribly painful all the time but my leg is getting very bowed and deformed and my hip and other knee are hurting too. Is it time to consider a replacement?

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The answer

If your leg is getting bowed, you really do need to see your doctor. Bowing of the leg itself use to be very common in children when rickets was rife. I do occasionally see children with rickets due to low vitamin D, but in adults bowing of the legs can be due to other reasons. If the bones of the leg are straight, it is still possible for the leg to look bowed because the knee joint is affected. If you are getting a lot of pain in one leg, for instance because of arthritis in the knee or hip, you may favour the other leg when you are walking. This in turn can put pressure on the ‘good’ leg, causing knock-on problems. It is not necessarily time to consider a joint replacement, but it certainly sounds as if you need a full assessment to see whether physiotherapy of other therapies could help with your symptoms, or whether the joint is severely enough affected to need replacement.

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