If your knees or hips are causing you constant pain, you may have thought about joint replacement surgery. But are myths about joint replacement holding you back? New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer weighs in on the most common ones he sees.
Myth #1: I should wait until I can’t walk to consider joint replacement surgery. One good way to tell if you should start thinking about surgery is if your pain affects your daily routine. In the meantime, do reasonable things to address the problem, such as taking anti-inflammatory medications if medically appropriate and modifying your activity. But according to your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon, when symptoms interfere with your life, or when pain keeps you up at night, it’s time to schedule an appointment.
Myth #2: I’m too young/old for joint replacement. There is no age requirement for joint replacement. With improved implant technology, younger patients have less risk of needing repeat surgeries due to parts wearing out. When your independence is threatened or you can no longer retain an active lifestyle, the time is right.
Myth #3: I’ll have permanent restrictions after surgery. With proper therapy, most people can achieve a higher level of function than before surgery. Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon cautions against running long distances, but he encourages activities like bicycling and swimming, which have less impact on joints.
Myth #4: I’ll be in excruciating pain and unable to return home after surgery. While it’s unrealistic to expect no pain after surgery, postsurgical pain should be on the low end of the scale. Also, proper anesthesia control during surgery helps to address a patient’s post-surgical pain and most patients return home within two days after surgery and complete their rehabilitation there.
Myth #5: It doesn’t matter who performs my surgery. Studies show patients get the best outcomes when their procedure is handled by an orthopedic surgeon who does a high number of the procedure at a medical facility that also handles a high volume of such surgeries. Find an orthopedic surgeon you trust, and remember that experience counts.
If you would like to know if joint replacement surgery is right for you, call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a consultation.