5 Things you Must know About Joint Replacement

As a patient suffering with joint issues, you may eventually come to a crossroads where your arthritis or faulty joint has caused you enough misery for you to consider a joint replacement. Your orthopedic doctor wants you to be an informed patient and know about the procedure before scheduling the surgery.

Experience is Important

The more times the orthopedic doctor has performed joint replacement surgery, the better YOUR result. Surgeons who are well versed in joint replacement know tricks, techniques, and strategies that will make your procedure more successful. Joint replacement has substantial risks that can affect your outcome, so why add to those risks by using a surgeon with less experience?

Recovery and Physical Therapy

The most important action you can take for success following your joint replacement surgery is to commit completely to the recovery and rehabilitation process. Your orthopedic doctor will have you up and moving within 24 hours of your surgery and will schedule you for an extensive rehabilitation program. Follow it strictly and do everything in your power to give yourself a good result. Rehab can be difficult and painful, but skipping sessions and putting less than 100% effort into the program will only harm you.

Potential Complications

Joint replacement is a major surgery and comes with all of the typical surgical complications. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a very dangerous infection that is extraordinarily difficult to cure. MRSA often strikes surgical patients or those who have been hospitalized. Other post-surgery issues are blood clots, torn sutures, and buildup of scar tissue. Issues specific to joint replacement are stiffness and instability of the new joint.

Physical Activity

Much of the time, joint replacements are not recommended for those who are extremely active, in favor of other orthopedic procedures and surgeries. If you undergo a joint replacement surgery, your orthopedic doctor may provide you with limits on the types of activities you can do.

Future Surgeries

There is a potential that your first joint replacement surgery is not going to be your last. Artificial joints do wear out, and there have also been instances where they’ve been recalled, requiring installation of another replacement.

Joint replacement surgery is an excellent option for many orthopedic patients, but but sure to go into the procedure fully prepared and educated. Be sure to ask your orthopedic doctor any questions you may have about your options before making a decision.

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