According to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, if you have osteoarthritis in one or both of your knees that causes pain and renders it less dependable, you may need knee replacement surgery down the road.
Orthopaedic surgeons who perform joint replacement surgeries often recommend other solutions to improve joint pain before opting for surgery. Sometimes joint pain is diminished when a patient strengthens the muscles around the joint with physical therapy and regular exercise.
Maintaining a healthy weight also helps to reduce strain on knees and hips. Supplements and prescription and nonprescription medications are often prescribed to reduce inflammation and lessen joint pain.
But even if you try these things, there may come a time when you can no longer tolerate the pain and medications no longer seem to work. At that point, you may want to talk to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon about joint replacement surgery.
What can a Joint replacement surgery do?
Joint replacement surgery can lessen or completely eliminate pain in a damaged joint, improve your range of motion and increase your level of activity. The most commonly replaced joints are hips, knees and shoulders because they are under the most stress and often the quickest to wear out.
Depending on where and how severe the damage is, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend partial or total joint replacement surgery to remove and replace the damaged bone and cartilage.
Post surgery, you will probably be encouraged to begin moving the new joint within a day because physical therapy is an important part of the healing process. As your pain diminishes and you are able to increase your level of physical activity, talk to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon to determine if any limitations on your activity are required.
Thanks to improvements in technology and the materials used for manufacturing artificial joints, some can now function for a period of up to 20 years. Your age, health and activity level will determine whether you will need a second joint replacement surgery – called joint revision surgery – in the future.
What should I do before getting a Joint replacement surgery done?
The healthier you are prior to surgery, the faster your recovery period will be and the lower your risk of complications. Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon offers the following tips:
- Quit smoking to improve your circulation and quicken the healing process.
- If you are overweight, lose weight before the surgery to make it easier to perform and increase your rate of healing.
- Strengthen muscles surrounding the joint that you are going to have replaced.
- Follow a home therapy/exercise program before and after surgery.
If you are having joint pain and want to know if replacement surgery is right for you, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule an appointment.