Your knee aches. You have difficulty making the trek around the block, and you cant play the sports you enjoy. Youre thinking about having knee surgery. But before you take that step, try conservative treatments, understand the different types of surgery, and, with your doctors guidance, carefully weigh the pros and cons of each procedure. In opting for surgery, especially knee replacement, consider how knee pain is affecting your quality of life and how much you stand to gain from an operation. If you tell me that on the 18th green your knee starts to bug you and you want your knee replaced, Ill probably advise you not to have surgery, says Trevor Murray, MD, a Cleveland Clinic orthopaedic surgeon. But if you tell me you dont even get your mail out of the mailbox because your knee hurts so bad, Im going to recommend a knee replacement. You need to have a frank discussion with your physician.