Do You Need a Total Joint Replacement?
Several conditions can cause joint pain and disability and lead you to consider joint replacement surgery. Joint pain is caused by damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones either from arthritis, a fracture, or another condition.
There are several reasons why your DOC orthopedic surgeon may recommend joint replacement surgery. People who benefit from total joint replacement surgery often have:
- Severe joint pain or stiffness that limits everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs
- Moderate or severe pain while resting
- Chronic inflammation and swelling
- Joint deformity
- Failure to improve with conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, or physical therapy
The most common cause of chronic joint pain and disability is arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis: Cartilage that cushions the bones of the joint wears away and bones rub against one another.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Chronic inflammation causes cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: Fractures or ligament tears from an injury that damages cartilage, causing pain and limited joint function.
The decision to have total joint replacement surgery should be collaboration between you, your family, your primary care physician, and your DOC orthopedic surgeon. Your surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation to determine if you would benefit from joint replacement surgery.
Recommendations for surgery are based on your pain and disability. Most guests who undergo total joint replacement surgery are in the 50 to 80-age range, but the DOC team evaluates each guest individually.
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