Is Joint Replacement Surgery for You?

Joint replacement surgery is an intimidating thought to many people.  However, with medical advances and new surgical techniques, joint replacement surgery is more common, efficient and effective than ever before.  If you or a loved one is suffering from pain and loss of function in your knees, hips or other joints, joint replacement surgery could very well be the best long term solution.

The benefits of joint replacement surgery include:

Long term success rate.  Recent research shows that 95% of hip replacements last 15 to 20 years and 85% of knee replacements last 20 years.  Nine out of ten people who have had joint replacement surgery say they would have the same surgery again.

Improved quality of life.  The financial cost of surgery may be high, but the improvement to your quality of life is great and sustained.  You’ll enjoy activities again, including walking, swimming and low impact sports – along with routine everyday tasks that can be so daunting when pain and stiffness set in.

Improved overall health.  When you’re living a pain-free and active life, you’ll feel better both physically and emotionally.  Studies have shown that chronic pain and disability are linked to depression and even heart disease.  After surgery, your general health, quality of life and sense of well-being will be markedly improved.

Less recovery time.  Of course, recovery time is different for everyone – depending on age, physical condition and other factors.   However, studies show that eight out of ten people who have hip or knee replacement are pain-free within one year – thanks in part to advancements in physical therapy and aftercare.

Although the benefits of joint replacement surgery are clear, many people are still hesitant and decide to wait.  Ultimately, the decision on when to have surgery is up to you, your family and your physician.

One thing to keep in mind is that as hip and knee arthritis worsens, the stiffness of the joints also worsens, which can make the replacement surgery more difficult.  That may mean a longer recovery and more physical therapy.  In severe cases, joint flexibility may never return to normal.  So, by waiting too long, you may not get the full benefits of your surgery.

Don’t let the fear of surgery prevent you from improving the quality of your life for years to come.  Consult with your POSMC physician to see if and when joint replacement surgery is right for you. Make an appointment today!