If you’re one of the millions of Americans that suffer from chronic arthritis pain, you may one day find yourself faced with the need for total joint replacement surgery. In the last several years, total joint replacements have undergone several advancements that make them much easier to recover from than in the past.
What is a total joint replacement?
A total joint replacement is a procedure where damaged cartilage and bone are replaced with prosthetic components. Several joints can now be restored through total joint replacements; the most common are total knee and hip replacements.
Why do I need total joint replacement surgery?
Joint replacement surgery is usually recommended when there is significant damage to cartilage or bone in a joint, and nonsurgical treatment, such as physical therapy or medication, has not brought relief. The cause of this bone and cartilage damage is usually linked to arthritis or injury.
How do I prepare for total joint replacement surgery?
Your doctor may recommend some basic exercises to strengthen the joint undergoing the procedure. Preparing yourself for the use of a walker through upper body strengthening may also prove valuable. If possible, take measures to prepare your home to aid with mobility and set up sleeping quarters on the first floor. Several days before your surgery, your doctor and medical team will likely begin testing to make sure you are in good health for the upcoming procedure.
What is the recovery like for total joint replacement surgery?
Because each patient is different, you’ll want to follow your doctor’s orders closely after surgery. Your doctor will prescribe pain management medication for a temporary period of time, and you will begin using the joint shortly after surgery. Within a few days, you will start physical therapy or home exercises to begin building your strength back up. Though it is common to feel pain after the procedure, it does not last more than a couple of months for most patients.
Getting the news that you need a total joint replacement can be unnerving at first, but our doctors and physical therapy professionals here at Lane, such as Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic and Lane Outpatient Therapy, will help you every step of the way. If you’re experiencing joint pain due to arthritis or injury, contact us to make an appointment with one of our providers.