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Dragging Your Feet On Joint Replacement Surgery? It Doesn’t Have to be that Painful!
It’s 2020, the year of improvement. So what’s holding you back? That persistent discomfort in your knee that causes you to limp? The ache in your hip that makes climbing stairs an agonizing experience?
Whether it’s from sports injuries, arthritis or just plain overuse you know the issue isn’t going away, and it’s affecting your life. Maybe you’ve met with your doctor and tried different treatment methods and therapies, such as medication, injections, and strengthening exercises. But all your options have fallen short of helping ease your pain for good. So what’s next?
At this point you may find that you’re a candidate for joint replacement surgery. Coming to terms with the initial shock of hearing your doctor utter the word “surgery” might make you want to stall the process. Plenty of people choose to delay surgery until pain and mobility problems become unbearable.
However, delaying recommended procedures could result in a further reduced quality of life and complications down the road, which could make the need for more complex surgery likely. The most important thing to consider is how much your pain and discomfort affect your activity, and how life could be without agony as a setback. It’s good to remember that joint replacement is quite common. For example, over 700,000 knee replacements are performed in the US each year alone — as well as millions of other joint operations (Healthline.com).
That being said, deciding to move forward with joint replacement still involves a great deal of decision-making and preparation. The best way to prepare yourself, especially if you’re on the fence, is to do some thorough research through legitimate sources to compare physician credentials and experience.
“ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF BEING A SURGEON IS GIVING PATIENTS THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR THEIR CARE AND THEN STEPPING BACK AND ALLOWING THEM TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT TREATMENT FOR THEIR INDIVIDUAL ISSUE. SURGERY IS ALWAYS MORE SUCCESSFUL WHEN THE PATIENT PLAYS AN ACTIVE ROLE IN MAKING THESE CRUCIAL DECISIONS.”
— JAMES A. COSTANZO, M.D.
A key component is to choose the best-fitting team to help you through the process. Not only do you want to be surrounded by the best, but you want to know that your healthcare team will work to keep you educated and comfortable from start to finish. James A. Costanzo, M.D., a specialist in complex hip and knee replacement says, “One of the most important aspects of being a surgeon is giving patients the options available for their care and then stepping back and allowing them to choose the right treatment for their individual issue. Surgery is always more successful when the patient plays an active role in making these crucial decisions.” Knowing that you’re in good, capable hands will go a long way to strengthen your resolve, and that’s often half the battle.
After you’ve come through your surgery, it’s time for the recovery phase. You can anticipate some initial pain or soreness, but medication can help you feel more comfortable. Ideally your aftercare team will include the same physician who consulted with you and performed your procedure.
Once at home, your physical therapist will administer a plan to suit your recovery needs. You’ll be advised to start right away to ensure quick recuperation. Of course, you don’t want to over-exert yourself, so getting plenty of rest in between physical therapy sessions will be beneficial. One good tip is to keep everything you need attainable in a small vicinity in your home, such as easy meals, books, and your TV remote. If possible, have a family member or a friend stay with you for a few days and take you to follow-up appointments. In most cases, patients should be able to resume normal activities within a reasonable amount of time. As long as you follow the directions given by your surgeon and physical therapists, your road to recovery should be smooth.
Here at Premier Orthopaedics we strive to be a complete source for every aspect of what you need to improve your physical abilities. Our continuing goal is to restore our patients, regardless of age, to an active lifestyle. Most of our physicians are certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and many of them have been named regional Top Docs.
If you’re considering joint replacement, you can be sure that a qualified, experienced professional is going to be alongside you every step of your journey, from the first consultation to the final follow-up. Some of our facilities even offer free shuttle services to make traveling to your appointments stress-free. We believe each patient deserves to feel confident, well-informed, and comfortable beyond their expectations. Click below to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations or to learn more about Premier’s physicians, services, and locations — and how we can start helping you!