A Quick Guide to Joint Replacement Surgery

About 1 in 4 adults with arthritis experience severe pain that hinders their quality of life. These patients would often request a high dosage of pain medication to reduce the symptoms. Unfortunately, they will develop a tolerance that requires a higher dosage and eventually spiral into addiction.

Fortunately, joint replacement surgery can help by replacing deteriorated joints to help alleviate pain and restore mobility. Since this is an invasive procedure, it’s important to know what to expect, so you go in there with confidence. If your doctor recommends this procedure, continue reading to learn more about it.

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery involves removing weakened joints and tissues and replacing them with a prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed to mimic the motion of a normal, healthy joint.

The hips, knees, and shoulders are the most common joints involved in this procedure. The goal is to alleviate pain and restore the joints to their normal function and movement. 

Different Types of Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery is not the first choice for patients with joint pain. Usually, medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes are the initial treatment strategy. If none of these non-surgical options work and you still experience pain, then you may be a candidate for joint replacement.

Your surgeon will explain the different types of joint replacement surgeries. They will also indicate which one is better for you. If you want to be ahead of the game, here are the different types of joint procedures:

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Partial knee replacement is less invasive than complete knee replacement. It involves replacing the damaged portion of the knee cartilage with a prosthesis. This procedure is suitable for damages restricted to a single area.

Candidates for this procedure are often younger and more active. The recovery time is faster than a complete replacement procedure

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Total knee replacement surgery involves implanting the prosthesis into a severely injured knee joint. The appropriate candidate often has chronic and severe degenerative arthritis, trauma, or other joint problems.

Total Hip Replacement Surgery

Total hip replacement surgery can help restore the alignment and function of your hip. The procedure involves replacing a worn-out or damaged hip joint. The surgeon will insert a prosthetic into the injured joint. 

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Some people can develop pain and stiffness in their shoulders over time. Shoulder replacement surgery involves removing the damaged shoulder joints and replacing them with prostheses. The treatment choices include replacing either the head of the humerus bone (ball) or both the ball and the socket (glenoid).

What to Expect During Joint Replacement Surgery?

You must fast before being admitted to the hospital for surgery. You will get general anesthesia to put you to sleep. You may get a spinal and regional anesthetic, which numbs the legs, so you wouldn’t need a machine to breathe for you.

There are many anesthesia options available; linked here to learn more or talk to your doctor. Your orthopedic surgeon will look after you and perform the procedure.

How Long Is the Recovery Process for Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery recovery varies from one individual to another. It depends on:

  • Genetics
  • General health
  • The intricacy of the treatment 
  • How you respond to the treatment

All of these factors affect how fast you return to your daily routine. By taking these factors into account and resting, recovering from joint replacement surgery can be a breeze.

Do I Need Joint Replacement Surgery?

As you grow older, your joints get weaker. You may develop arthritis or osteoarthritis. A lot of times, minor pain can be treated with injections and medication.

However, if the pain disrupts your daily life, then it’s time to see a doctor. Your doctor can take a thorough history and physical to determine if joint replacement surgery is appropriate. We understand how stressful this can be, and if you are still looking for more info, check out our blog posts today.

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