Are you suffering from pain or discomfort in your joints? The symptoms of arthritis and other diseases can continue to get worse until your joints ache severely. If the pain becomes unbearable, it may be time to consider joint replacement for your hip, knee, shoulder, or elbow.
Joint Replacement is an orthopedic surgery where the joint or part of the joint is replaced. Artificial materials such as metal or plastic are used for the replacement. There are different types of joint replacement approaches, depending on the affected joint’s condition and location. It is most commonly performed in people with osteoarthritis or a degenerative disease of the joints.
Conservative Versus Surgical Treatments of Osteoarthritis
Conservative therapies such as medications and physical therapy are effective strategies in milder forms of osteoarthritis. They are reasonably affordable, and you may feel better within a short time. However, they’re only meant to deal with mild symptoms.
Surgical methods such as joint replacement can be more effective for the long term. Several major joints in the body, such as the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees, are prone to osteoarthritis. These joints, therefore, are the most common areas where joint replacement surgery is performed. But when is this type of surgery considered the best option?
Why Joint Replacement May Be The Best Option
A good way to know when joint replacement is the best option is to compare it with conservative treatments. To give you an idea, here are some criteria orthopedic surgeons follow when considering replacement surgery for their patients:
● Pain Relief
Pain medications and therapy exercises are great methods of reducing joint pain. However, medications have side effects such as drowsiness, loss of appetite, or addiction. If your condition worsens, you might experience unbearable pain in your joints that medications or exercise cannot relieve. For long-term relief, your doctor might recommend you undergo surgery instead.
● Better Movement
Joint pain also makes it difficult to walk and do the things you love. It makes simple tasks such as picking up a cup of coffee and climbing stairs significantly difficult. This experience leads to fear of moving, resulting in avoiding exercise or even daily tasks. When your joint pain affects every aspect of your life, this is a sign to explore other treatment options.
● Improve Radiologic Findings
Doctors use different radiologic techniques, such as X-rays and MRI scans, to check if your joints are well. If you have osteoarthritis, these scans will show that your bones and joints have inflammation. When you have your joints and bones replaced, the inflammation that causes the pain is likely to disappear. When you get a scan again, the doctor will see significant improvements in your joints.
● Long-term Benefits
Most of the effects of conservative treatment options work only temporarily. For example, pain medications only work for a few hours. Then, you may need to take another dose. Over time, you might develop a tolerance to the medication, and you won’t feel its effects any longer. When these non-surgical methods fail, your next best bet is to trust in joint reconstruction or replacement surgeries for long-term benefits.
Minimizing The Potential Risks Of Joint Replacement Surgeries
All of the benefits mentioned above are great reasons why you should undergo joint replacement. But why is joint replacement surgery not the go-to option when you feel excruciating joint pain? Aside from higher costs and longer periods for recovery, there are certain risks we need to keep in mind.
- Infection – If the joint gets infected, the wound may need to be reopened and cleaned.
- Loosen Joint – The joint may loosen over time. When this happens, the joint becomes unstable, which may lead to dislocation or fractures.
- Revision Surgery – If the joint is replaced in a young patient, the prosthetic may wear out and require revision surgery.
Thankfully, you can avoid these risks with proper observation of safety and quality measures. So to minimize your risk, make sure your surgeon observes top-notch safety standards.
Top Joint Replacement Orthopedic Surgeons In Missouri
If conservative methods fail, joint replacement may be your last hope. With proper care and top-notch joint replacement services, you could reap long-term benefits and pain relief.
If you’re experiencing joint pain, it’s best to talk to the experts. We at Advanced Bone & Joint are a team of licensed and expert orthopedic surgeons and medical professionals in Missouri. We specialize in joint replacement surgeries of the elbow, shoulder, hip, and knee.
Let’s make your joint pain go away. Contact us at (636) 229-4222 or request an appointment today.