Are you going to be undergoing joint replacement surgery in the near future? If so, you may want some information on joint replacement. This will help you better understand what will happen and what to expect. Being informed and prepared for the surgery will help ensure you have realistic expectations after the joint replacement surgery.
Basics of Joint Replacement
Put simply, joint replacement is when a damaged joint is removed and a new one is placed in your body. The most common joint replacement surgeries include the shoulder, hip and knee. The surgery is usually performed by a specialized doctor who is referred to as an orthopedic surgeon. In some cases, they will remove the entire joint, while other times they will simply fix the parts that are damaged.
Your doctor might recommend this surgery to improve your quality of life, since the process can help to relieve pain and allow you to move more freely.
What Makes Joint Replacement Surgery Necessary?
Joints may become damaged due to arthritis, or other injuries and diseases. Years of use or arthritis can cause the joint to begin wearing away. This may result in swelling, stiffness and pain. Since bones are alive, they require blood in order to remain healthy, grow and also self-repair. Damage and diseases to the joint can limit the total blood flow and cause a number of issues.
Composition of the New Joint
New joints, which are referred to as a prosthesis, can be composed of metal, plastic or a combination of both. It might be cemented in place, or not cemented, which will allow the bone to actually grow into it. Each method is viable for keeping the new joint in the proper position.
Cemented joints are typically used in older individuals, who do not move around as much as others. The cement will hold the new joint in place on the bone. Joints that are not cemented are typically recommended for those who are younger, active and with quality bone health. While it takes longer to heal, it will typically be more successful in the long run.
Is Joint Replacement Common?
Joint replacement is becoming much more common with over one million people in America having a knee or a hip replaced each year. Even the elderly experience a better quality of life after having a joint replaced.
It is important to keep in mind, though, that this is surgery, and it does carry risks. Understanding these risks and having realistic expectations for the procedure can help you be satisfied with the outcome.
If you believe you may Benefit From Joint Replacement Surgery, you should talk with your doctor. In most cases, doctors will attempt other treatments prior to turning to surgery, since it is such an invasive procedure. However, if this is the only viable option, it can provide you relief and allow you be active and participate in the things that you enjoy again.