One of the most discouraging consequences of joint injury is the inability to perform daily activities. Simple tasks like walking, climbing stairs or emptying the dishwasher can become incredibly difficult, and they may cause you a great deal of pain. If conservative therapies such as medications, physical therapy, or hot and cold treatments have offered limited success, it may be time to talk to your doctor about joint replacement surgery.
More than one million joint replacement surgeries are performed in the United States every year. During these procedures, the surgeon removes damaged joint surfaces and replaces them with an artificial joint implant. Joint replacement surgery is incredibly successful in alleviating joint pain, and it can improve joint function in patients who suffer from limited mobility.
The main benefit of joint replacement surgery is pain relief, but patients report many other benefits as well. After recovering from joint replacement surgery, you will likely find that you are able to resume activities you once loved. Bike riding, swimming, golf and tennis are just a few activities you can enjoy after your recovery.
Patients also enjoy the long-term results that come from joint replacement surgery. An estimated 95 percent of hip replacements last 15 to 20 years, and 85 percent of knee replacements last up to 20 years. Research presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting also indicates that osteoarthritis patients who undergo hip replacement have a reduced risk of death, heart failure, depression and diabetes (Source: Everyday Health).
Only your doctor can determine whether you are a good candidate for joint replacement surgery. However, you may be recommended for surgery if you have:
- High levels of pain that have not responded to other treatments
- Limited range of motion
- Joint pain caused by osteoarthritis
- Overall good health
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of joint replacement surgery to determine whether this treatment route is right for you. Finding answers to your questions will give you the confidence and comfort you need to move forward with surgery or explore other treatment options. Make your joint health a priority today and get back to the life you love!