The Anxiety Behind Joint Replacement
As people age, the joints become weaker due to decades of wear and tear. Even the healthiest person can experience joint issues at some point in life. For instance, athletes tend to go through more joint-related problems as the body ages. The high-impact stress that an athlete’s body goes through makes the body break down quicker. For non-athletes and athletes alike, the thought of going through joint replacement surgery can elicit anxiety. However, joint replacement surgery, when appropriate, can greatly improve a person’s quality of life.
What do joints do?
The body is comprised of 400 joints that help the body to move. There are two joint categories: functional and structural. Within these groups, there are various classifications for joints.
- Synovial joints are covered by cartilage and a lubricating substance called synovia.
- Cartilaginous joints are held together by cartilage.
- Fibrous joints are connected by fibrous tissue.
- Amphiarthrosis joints are slightly movable.
- Diarthrosis joints are extremely movable; for example, hip and knee joints are diarthrosis joints.
- Synarthrosis joints are immovable.
Signs a person needs a replacement
People should consult a physician after noticing certain symptoms. These symptoms could signify other health problems as well as indicate that a patient needs a joint replacement.
1. Difficulty walking
This symptom may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t know that trouble walking could be a sign of a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the synovium. Over time, many people with rheumatoid arthritis lose the ability to walk. People with difficulty walking may be in the beginning stages of a chronic arthritic condition.
2. Chronic pain
Chronic pain is not normal, especially if the pain interferes with sleep or other daily activity. At this point, patients need to schedule a meeting with a physician immediately. People in need of joint replacement feel pain when bending over, reaching for objects, and walking.
3. Experiencing side effects with medication
Usually, healthcare providers prescribe medication for people experiencing joint pain but, over time, these medications may prove to be less efficient. If patients still experience chronic pain and trouble walking or moving after taking prescription medication, then a physician may recommend a joint replacement.
Speak with a physician
Patients should consult a physician regarding any of these symptoms. When joint pain starts interfering with normal everyday activities, patients need to meet with a doctor. A healthcare provider will help patients further understand the condition and surgical options.