Joint Replacement Surgery: Things to Know Before Taking the Decision

What is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery, also known as replacement arthroplasty, is the procedure that involves the replacement of arthritic joint with an orthopedic prosthesis. Joint replacement surgery was commenced by Stephen S. Hudack, an American orthopaedic surgeon, who commenced the replacement of artificial joints in animals and was reinstating hip joints in human beings.

Joint Replacement Surgery: Things to Know Before Taking the Decision

Types of Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery may be of the following types:

  • Interpositional arthroplasty.
  • Excisional arthroplasty.
  • Cup arthroplasty.
  • Resurfacing arthroplasty.
  • Silicone replacement arthroplasty.
  • Mold arthroplasty.

Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery

Before the execution of joint replacement surgery, pre-anaesthetic procedure is required to be followed, like urine test, blood test, ECG, hematology, et cetera. An x-ray is to be carried out of the joint which needs to be replaced. Post surgery, the patient is to stay hospitalized for a few weeks for the process of healing and also rehabilitation. Nutritious foods are highly recommended during this time period.

Other Options to Explore Before Going for Joint Replacement Surgery

Coming to the cliff point of undergoing joint replacement surgery, you are entitled to go through a number of key aspects before you arrive at the final conclusion.

Replacement surgery isn’t a small decision and the patient needs to be completely sure in all the aspects. Though a joint replacement surgery can pull you out of the dark hole of grief, there are few other things before you finally decide to opt for the surgery.

Lose Weight: Sometimes, shedding a few pounds may help you as the joint pain may also turn out to be the result of overweight body or obesity. One must try to keep his/her muscles sturdy so that the any stress caused doesn’t seep down in the joints.

Osteotomy: If you have tried everything from injections to physical exercises, and still not able to acquire any relief from joint pain, then surgery is the last resort, however, jumping directly in the replacement agenda is not good. You can still try a few lesser prospects than the surgery, such as: Osteotomy that carves and shapes-up the bones around knee or hip in order to put off the exertion off the joint. You might prove to be an eligible candidate for the same in case you don’t have a sedentary lifestyle and are or below 60.

Partial Joint or Knee Replacement: Partial knee replacement can also be considered in which the damaged area of the knee is removed while the sound ligaments and cartilage are kept safe. It is suitable for people who have a normal weight and are suffering from arthritis in just a single part of the knee.

Things to be Considered Before Deciding for Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery isn’t a small decision to make. The complications of joint replacement surgery consist of infection, nerve damage and even the loss of the implant. Constant visits to your doctor are quite necessary. It is very important to know from your doctor the procedure regarding admittance in the hospital, duration of your stay in the hospital, the type of anesthesia that will be given, the variety of implant that is going to be made use of, how much time will be employed in the procedure of recovery and management of post-surgical pain after joint replacement surgery has successfully concluded.

Try to Lose Weight Before Joint Replacement Surgery: If you have made up your mind for joint replacement surgery, then you must watch out your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for the surgery to take place easily and the recovery process to be incremented. Losing weight also cuts down on complications and the recovery time post joint replacement surgery. In case you are obese or overweight, you must try to lose a few pounds as the extra weight will lay pressure on the new joint. In certain cases, your doctor may delay the surgery until you draw yourself back on the normal weight that is appropriate from the point of view of the joint replacement surgery.

Quit Smoking Before Joint Replacement Surgery: If you are a constant smoker, it is advisable that you quit smoking as it poses a negative impact on the blood circulation leading to hampering of the healing process and extending the recovery time.

Avoid Eating Junk Foods: Refrain from eating junk food and switch to balanced and nutritious diet.

Cut Down on Alcohol Intake Before Joint Replacement Surgery: You should avoid drinking alcohol 48 hours before joint replacement surgery.

Inform Your Doctor About All The Medications You Are Taking Before Joint Replacement Surgery: If you are taking any narcotics or any other drugs then it is important to tell your doctor about it otherwise it can cause severe complications at the juncture of surgery.

Strengthening Exercises Before Joint Replacement Surgery: You also need to consult your doctor about strengthening exercises, which you must perform before joint replacement surgery so that you don’t encounter any impediment whilst using crutches post joint replacement surgery. Doing isometric exercises will aid you in strengthening the muscles of your legs. Do ask the doctor about the exercises that are possible to be performed post joint replacement surgery.

Recovery Time Following Joint Replacement Surgery

You must not be oblivious of the fact that you have to wait for 8 to 12 months, after the joint replacement surgery for a complete recovery. In case you have no one by your side to take care of you, then you have to go to a rehab centre where you will be taken care of. Another alternative is that you can stay at home and employ a nurse as well as a physical therapist to take care of you.

Joint replacement surgery is not going to render you the stamina to run a marathon race, but it will surely draw in mobility in your life and will not let you experience the pain that you used to have before your affected joint was replaced. After a considerable time period you will walk on your feet on your own. Your entire life will alter significantly, drawing a positive result on your demeanour.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 31, 2017

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