Years ago, joint replacement surgery was considered high-tech.
However, nowadays, it’s already considered an ordinary procedure.
In fact, surgeons replace more than a million knees and hips yearly.
And that is in the United States alone.
The staggering figure can be attributed to the fact that those who have had hip and knee replacement surgeries experience significant pain relief and improved mobility.
For the right candidates, there is no denying hip and knee replacement can be a life-changing procedure.
The most likely candidates for knee replacement surgery are those patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
The knee is the body part that is often affected as it bears the body’s weight.
The procedure is only resorted to after all the other conservative treatments have proven futile.
However, just like most major surgeries, knee replacement surgery has certain risks.
Some of these risks are:
- Heart attacks
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots (in the lungs or leg veins)
Knee replacement surgery is done by an orthopedic surgeon.
Prior to the surgery, the knee’s stability, strength, and range of motion is checked.
Hip replacement is the procedure done to remove the damaged parts of the hip joint.
Individuals with severe osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the likely candidates for hip replacement surgery.
For those patients who have hip fractures due to osteoporosis, the surgery is also deemed a likely alternative. In most cases, however, hip replacement surgeries are carried out to remedy joint damage.
The extent of the hip replacement however will depend on how severe the joint damage is.
Just like knee replacement, the procedure is only done when all other conventional treatment alternatives have failed.
Also known as hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery is done when the pain becomes so severe and begins interfering with the individual’s day-to-day routine.
What other key factors should be considered before joint replacement is carried out?
Even if your doctor has already decided you are a likely candidate for joint replacement, it is still imperative to consider asking yourself the following questions:
Will other treatment alternatives work?
While relatively safe, joint replacement surgery still comes with certain risks and the recovery period can last for months.
With that in mind, make sure all the other treatment alternatives have been exhausted before resorting to the procedure.
Have I done the necessary research?
There are various kinds of joint replacements so doing some research would be recommended. Look for reliable websites so you will have an idea of what you are getting yourself into.
Have I discussed the procedure with my doctor?
If you have any questions you need enlightenment on, it would be best to discuss it with your doctor. If you have any doubts, be sure to let your doctor know about them so you are given the answers you are looking for.
In addition, so you can best prepare, inquire what the procedure would be like and what to expect while recovering.
Do I have the needed help at home while recovering?
Make no mistake about it, recovering from joint surgery without any help at home can be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Keep in mind that for the first few weeks, you will be needing help moving around, getting dressed, changing the bandage, and preparing food.
If you don’t have family members or close friends who can help you out, finding a rehabilitation center where you can recover would be recommended.
Have I taken into account how the procedure can affect my life?
Take into consideration the likely impact the surgery will have on your life and work. If it will help make everything better, then go for it.
However, consider enlisting the help of friends and family first especially during the recovery period.