The Power Of TJR
Total joint replacement (TJR) surgery transforms the lives of millions of Americans every year. Joint replacement helps end chronic pain due to arthritis or injury. The procedure can feel like a significant step, despite minimally invasive techniques. Patients want some assurance that the procedure will bring pain-free results. Orthopedic surgeons can help patients understand both the pain-free benefits and risks of surgery.
What is a total joint replacement?
Most TJR procedures happen on the knees and hips. However, there are more and more shoulder and ankle replacements being done. The goal of a joint replacement is to remove a damaged or diseased joint, then install a prosthetic replacement. The procedure can happen via open surgery, but minimally invasive and robotic techniques have improved the results and recovery time. Many patients can expect to leave the hospital or surgical center on the same day. The recovery period starts immediately after surgery and can last 3 or more months.
Will I still experience pain?
After surgery, there will be discomfort. However, the pain will stem from the procedure and not the painful joint. After surgery, patients may experience surgical site pain, swelling, and inflammation. These are positive signs that the body is healing. Patients typically require pain management medication and physical therapy to manage this pain. After 3-4 weeks, almost all post-operative pain should subside. Some patients may benefit from rehab in advance through a rapid recovery program.
Every joint is different, and the success rate of patients will vary. However, most patients should gradually see a reduction in pain as the body heals. A good gauge is the 3-month mark, which doctors use to determine the actual success rate. The joint feels better than ever, allowing patients to perform everyday activities and even participate in sports as time goes on. Some patients may feel soreness during the following months due to overuse. Gauge this and gradually return to full movement. Statistics show that over 90% of patients experience almost no pain after one year of surgery.
A better life with TJR
Total joint replacement can bring a new lease on life. By removing the damaged cartilage, patients no longer need to face swelling, pain, and limited mobility. Of course, there are risks that can cause pain after surgery. These include infection, joint misalignment, or loosening of the implant. Overall, patients should have significantly less pain from the 3-month mark. By the 6-12-month mark, patients should notice a much-improved quality of life.