Total joint replacement surgery consists of replacing painful, arthritic, worn, or cancerous parts of the joint with artificial parts made of plastic, metal, or ceramic that are shaped to allow the joint to move properly.
Joint replacements are very common, with approximately a million procedures completed each year in the United States. Hips and knees are the joints most often replaced, although all joints can be replaced when needed.
When a joint is severely damaged or has deteriorated due to arthritis to the point where it’s so painful or debilitating that it stops you from performing your daily activities, a joint replacement might resolve the issue. A lot of joint pain is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, which lines the ends of the bones and absorbs much of the friction and impact of movement. Without sufficient cartilage, there’s nothing to protect the ends of your bones, resulting in significant pain.
Your orthopedic specialist at Greater Austin Orthopaedics will give you instructions specific to your needs before surgery. They may suggest that you begin exercises, if possible, to build strength around the joint to aid in recovery, or that you build strength in other parts of the body to provide additional support. You may need assistance at home after the procedure and may need to make adjustments in your day-to-day life to accommodate for your recovery. Make sure your doctor knows about any medications, vitamins, or supplements you take, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions.
Your orthopedic specialist will prepare you as much as possible for the procedure. Some important questions to ask include:
If you’ve been experiencing joint pain, weakness, numbness, stiffness, or swelling, contact Greater Austin Orthopaedics today to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic joint replacement specialist, or request an appointment online.