Is Joint Replacement right for you?

Are you facing pain in the form of a sharp ache or burning sensation in your muscle mass when you stretch or move them? And mostly this excruciating pain is around your hands, ankles, hips, knees and gets severe or worse in cold humid conditions. Medically explained, this could be extreme repair of joints due to mechanical stress. The stress could be anything ranging from injury, obesity, loss of muscle strength, impairment of peripheral nerves, over exercise etc.

A painful joint

Joint symptoms include pain, inflammation, soreness, aches and stiffness in one or multiple joints. After a series of tests, x-rays the orthopedic prognosis could be anything like osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis, traumatized and maligned joints etc. The symptoms may be mild initially or acute but can worsen if unattended.

Who are suggested joint replacement?

Bones are irrigated by the blood flow and to remain healthy and repair themselves, bones must be supported with healthy joints. When these joints are diseased and dysfunctional blood flow gets limited there by hurting the bones as well. In many a cases orthopedic doctor suggests treatments like physiotherapy, traction or pain reliever. But in severe conditions when the joints have worn out completely, or the pain is intolerable, or when the cartilage that lines the bones have got damaged the orthopedic is left with only one option and that is Total joint replacement surgery where the damaged joint is replaced by an orthopedic prosthesis. The prosthesis is made of metal, plastic or ceramic device that replicates the movement of a normal healthy joint.

Who can undergo joint replacement?

Surgeons suggest joint replacement to patients if and only if

  • The pain and stiffness are chronic and have been continuously existing for more than 6 months and failure of non-surgical therapy.
  • Poor quality of life of the patient
  • Bone damage due to constricted blood flow
  • Deformity in the form of swelling or bowed shape

When it may not help?

Total joint replacement may not help or prove useless if one has

  • A recent infection
  • History of heart attack or stroke
  • Pain is while resting and not while walking
  • Nerve rupture around the joint.

Medical Facts

After series of x-rays, arthroscopic views the decision is made by the surgeon for joint replacement. However one in many may get few side-effects during joint replacement surgery namely

  • Thrombosis
  • Infection
  • Wear and tear, loosening, dislocation of the prosthesis
  • Nerve or blood vessel injury during surgery

Is it the right thing for you?

With 10 to 15 years of pain relief guaranteed joint replacement is gaining immense popularity. However the decision to get temporary relief or permanent is left up to you the patient. Surgeons say that for a successful joint implant the surgeon contributes 10 percent, 15 percent the surgical procedure, 10 percent the post-surgical care and rest is up to the patient. Read about the process, discuss with your doctor and your family. After all health is wealth you know.