Thinking About Joint Replacement?
In an aging population, joint pain and conditions like arthritis have been on the rise. In response, more doctors have been performing joint replacements than ever before. More than 600,000 joint replacement surgeries occur yearly. Although many persons are opting for surgery, there is still a subset who prefers to wait. But is delaying joint replacement a good idea?
Arthritis is a painful condition where the cartilage and bones in joints degenerate. This can cause pain while using these joints, as the cartilage helps with shock absorption. The pain can get to the point where using limbs or moving becomes difficult. As a result, joint replacement removes damaged cartilage and bone with prosthetic parts. If a doctor speaks about a joint replacement, some patients decide to delay the surgery. The reasons vary from personal choice, fear, financial reasons, or plain procrastination. Immediate surgery can be beneficial in a few ways.
Things will get worse
Despite the joint pain, some patients opt for non-surgical treatment. Non-surgical treatment includes rest, pain medication, epidural steroid injections, and physical therapy. While helpful, the joint still gets progressively worse. Non-surgical management also requires consistency. Many can fall into a cycle of pain and treatment. Surgery reduces pain significantly for several years while improving the effectiveness of rest and medication.
An injury could be a death sentence
As arthritis progresses, joints become weaker. That means the joints are prone to fractures with the simplest of falls. For older persons, fractures can be fatal. For instance, 1 in 3 adults over 50 dies within 12 months of a hip fracture. Healing becomes more difficult, and the quality of life and health declines. A joint replacement strengthens large joints like the hip and can save lives.
Take advantage of surgical advancements
Just the thought of surgery can make people think of messy, open procedures. However, medicine and technology have evolved for the better. Minimally invasive techniques mean that surgeons use smaller incisions to perform surgery. Using tools like arthroscopes, the surgeon performs the surgery without large incisions. In fact, joint replacement can be an outpatient procedure performed at an ambulatory surgical center.
An improvement in surgical outcomes
Minimally invasive surgery means an increase in success rates and surgical outcomes. Small incisions mean there is little chance of infection. Healing and recovery also improve dramatically. Persons won’t need to spend months on the sidelines. Knee and hip replacements have a 90% success rate and perform well 10-15 years later.
Life will be better
Feeling young in mind and heart is amazing. But sometimes, the body can’t keep up. Surgery helps improve the performance of the joint and reduces pain. This means that persons can enjoy life more, spend time with family, friends, and pursue hobbies pain-free. Delaying surgery means managing pain and missing out on all the great things life has to offer.
Choose joint replacement surgery today
Without a doubt, millions of persons have benefited from joint replacement over the years. Delaying surgery may sound logical; however, technology has made waiting unnecessary. Minimally invasive techniques mean faster recovery, smaller incisions, and better outcomes. Persons also remove the risk of future damage and complications that joint replacement can’t fix. Speak with a surgeon today about the possibility of joint replacement surgery.