As we become more active and age as a society, the risks for traumatic injury to our joints increase. There are several ways damage can occur and include arthritis or other diseases and injuries incurred from trauma or sporting activity. Furthermore, and especially for older people, years of use may cause joint erosion causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Bones are a living part of the body’s architecture and require healthy blood flow to repair themselves. Diseases, such as arthritis, can limit flow and lead to major issues.
Total Joint Replacement is becoming a more common procedure to correct these problems. In fact, nearly 750,000 Americans have either a hip, knee, or both replaced every year. Not only is joint replacement cost effective, it is generally covered by public sector insurance plans including Medicare. Conditions appropriate to Total Joint Replacement (TJR) include traumatic injury and most arthritic conditions. While there are many non-operative options for joint care including moderate physical activity and over the counter pain relievers, joint replacement offers a more permanent solution to pain as well as range of motion problems. A number of studies have demonstrated that even in older patients, replacing an entire joint can help with pain management and increase quality of life.
Of course, with any surgery comes risks and risks of joint surgery will depend on a number of factors including a patient’s general health, pre-existing conditions, and the severity of joint damage. As the medical community continues to perform these operations, their expertise level commensurately rises. Before opting for a joint replacement, some people talk with someone who has actually experienced the procedure and the recovery period.
After the replacement surgery is complete, the recovery may take longer than expected. Once a patient is released from the hospital, follow up care will be required. Very often, your home setting will be an appropriate recovery venue and your doctor can work closely with in-home health care professionals on your plan of recovery.