Joint replacement can help relieve pain and enable you to live a fuller, more active life. Almost 1.25 million hip and knee replacement surgeries were performed in 2019 in the U.S.
Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure where parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a prosthesis, which is designed to replicate the movement of a normal healthy joint.
How can you tell when joint replacement is necessary? How risky is the surgery? How bad is it if you don’t replace a damaged joint?
If you are or someone you love is contemplating joint replacement surgery, this episode is essential.
In Episode 65, Dr. G and his guest, Denis Williams, M.D., discuss and answer frequently asked questions about joint replacement surgery.
Myths vs. Facts
“A joint implant will only last me 10 years.” – Myth
If a joint replacement is done well, done after age 55 and if the patient is careful with the joint, it could last considerably longer than 10 years.
“Stem cell therapy is a good alternative to knee replacement.” – Myth
Stem cell therapy could help with some types of mild arthritis, but would not be the same as a knee replacement.
“There are activities I should not do after knee replacement.” – Fact
After a knee replacement patients can do almost anything but should not kneel on the replaced joint.
“I shouldn’t consider having surgery until the pain is unbearable.” – Myth
People should have the joint addressed before the pain becomes unbearable.
“I’m too young or too old for joint replacement.” – Both
Generally, people should wait to have joints replaced until they’re in their 50s or 60s. Someone in their 90s also could qualify for joint replacement, depending on their “physical age.”
“I won’t be able to maintain an active lifestyle.” – Myth
It’s the opposite – people should be able to return to an active, pain-free lifestyle after joint replacement.
“I’ll be in the hospital for a week.” – Myth
The average hospital stay is around two days, and some joint replacement surgeries are done as outpatient procedures.
“I’ll have to go to a rehab facility afterward.” – Myth
While it can occur in some rare situations, joint replacement patients usually are able to go home after surgery.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
“Me focusing on taking care of me, much needed.” – S.R.P.