What You Need To Know Before A Total Hip Or Knee Joint Replacement

Finally Fighting Joint Pain With A Replacement

More and more knee and hip pain sufferers are opting for total joint replacement. Injury or severe arthritis can cause pain, swelling, stiffness for months, reducing the quality of life. Total joint replacement seeks to remove a damaged or diseased joint and install prosthetic parts. These parts are made of metal, plastic, or other materials and mimic the functionality of the joint. Before the joint replacement, an orthopedic surgeon may have multiple consultations with the patient. These consultations will reveal some of the things the patient will need to know before surgery.

You need to prep for surgery

Showing up on the day of surgery without preparing can reduce the success rate of the procedure. Successful surgery starts long before the operating room. Leading up to the surgery, the doctor will reveal some dos’ and don’ts to make the process easier. Smoking, alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, and some prescription medications can cause blood thinning or slow recovery. Make sure to pack suitable clothing, have emergency contacts, and have someone available to go home after surgery.

There are now minimally invasive options

In the past, total joint replacements were strictly open procedures. The surgeon made a large incision several inches long. The tendons were moved, and damaged parts were removed. From there, the surgeon will install the prosthetic, then close the surgical wound. Big incisions are no longer necessary; minimally invasive means the surgeon only needs 2-3 small buttonholes. These allow the surgeon to navigate the surgical site using a special scope safely. After inserting the scope, small tools help to replace the tendon. Some clinics even use robotic arm surgery, which improves the outcome and reduces the chances of complications.

You’ll need some time for recovery

Even after a fresh new ligament, there will need some recovery time. On average, patients will need 1-2 weeks or more before resuming work and should coordinate these dates well in advance. Make sure to secure the necessary time off work, if applicable. Set up the home for a smooth recovery and follow the surgeon’s instructions. Recovery also includes physical therapy, which happens at least 3 times weekly. Physical therapy involves several stretches and exercises to strengthen the surrounding joint muscles.

You could walk right after surgery

In some cases, patients can begin walking right after surgery. The clinic may suggest rapid recovery surgery for healthy patients. This recovery involves a series of medications, education, and physical therapy before and immediately after surgery. The strategy allows patients to walk right after surgery with a walker. As a result, patients can continue walking and feel stronger, cutting down recovery time.

It can take up to 12 months to be pain-free

On average, joints can take 8-12 weeks to heal. From there, the patients can resume basic activities like driving, walking, and swimming. However, there will be pain and swelling from time to time, especially with overuse. Pay attention to how long the swelling or pain comes and adjust activities accordingly. Doctors usually predict pain will subside after 12 months.

Consider a brand new joint

Deciding on total hip or knee joint replacement is a tough decision. However, chronic joint pain can affect the quality of life, especially with age. Joint replacements have high success rates and can last over 10 years with the proper exercise and use. Make sure to gather as many details as possible to prepare for joint replacement properly.

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2021-12-15T18:39:08-06:00
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