Making a smart decision about joint replacement can improve your quality of life by alleviating pain, but you need to know the pros and cons first.
Are you trying to decide to have joint replacement surgery? Considering the benefits of this procedure and the potential drawbacks can help you make an informed decision about joint replacement.
Benefits of Joint Replacement
- Reduced Pain: After a joint replacement surgery, your new joint should allow you to be more active and result in lower pain levels. Usually, the main reason you are considering joint replacement is to repair an injury and pain management, so if pain is your primary concern, then surgery could be the right choice for you.
- Long-lasting relief: A replacement may not be permanent, but it is long lasting; most last from 15-25 years, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
- Restore quality of life: Your ability to move again without pain will enhance your daily life, allowing you to resume activities, and improve your overall quality of life.
Drawbacks of Joint Replacement
- Lifestyle changes: Any surgery has risks; you need to talk to your surgeon and make sure that you are healthy enough for surgery. Your surgeon may tell you to lose weight, quit smoking, or otherwise change your lifestyle before undergoing surgery.
- Commitment to recovery: You will need to commit fully to your recovery program in order to live a healthy, active lifestyle. This may mean changing old habits or modifying your activity level.
- Another replacement surgery: If you are under 60, you may eventually need to have another replacement surgery. According to the Arthritis Foundation, people who get knee replacements before the age of 60 are likely to need revision surgery later in life.
When is the Right Time for Joint Replacement?
If you have considered both the potential benefits and risks of joint replacement surgery and want to proceed, here is what to consider next:
- Try other treatments first: If you have not tried your other options, speak with your orthopedic specialist. Nonsurgical treatments like lubricant or steroid injections, pain medication and management, and even weight loss, can alleviate your pain without surgery.
- Consider all your options: A total joint replacement is not your only option; sometimes a less extensive surgery might work for you, offering pain relief with a faster recovery time.
- Understand what surgery can and cannot do: Your joint replacement surgery should improve your quality of life, but you will still need to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to achieve the maximum results. If you have arthritis, for example, joint replacement can relieve symptoms but will not cure the condition.
- Seek an experienced surgeon: An experienced Arkansas Surgical Hospital orthopedic surgeon will have the skills needed to help you if you decide joint replacement is the right option for you.
If you have tried other treatments for painful joints and want to learn more about why having joint replacement surgery, Arkansas Surgical Hospital can help. Contact us today at (877) 918-7020 to hear about how our surgeons treat joint pain and to learn if a new joint might be the right decision for you.