If you have severe joint pain, you know it can become so bothersome that it forces you to stop moving and enjoying your usual activities. Or, perhaps the pain is so unbearable that you’ve considered joint replacement surgery. If you are struggling with the thought of joint replacement surgery, it’s normal to feel that way. Surgery is a serious matter and can be even more overwhelming if complications occur.
Fortunately, knowledge is power when it comes to deciding if joint replacement surgery is right for you. This article will arm you with the facts you need to weigh your treatment options.
Know the Risks
Joint replacement surgery includes other risks that you should know about, in addition to the usual risks associated with any surgical procedure. Infection, blood clots, dislocation, fractures and anesthesia-related complications are just a few of the risks associated with joint replacement surgery. Talk to your health care provider about specific risks related to your joint replacement procedure.
Be Aware of Metal Implant Allergies
Some people have allergies to metals used in joint replacement surgeries. Metal implants are often used in some orthopedic surgeries, including joint replacement surgery. If you are concerned about developing an allergic reaction to metal implants, talk to your doctor about your concerns. Some people find that the benefits of joint replacement surgery outweigh the risks, yet it is critical to understand all of the risks.
Smoking and Joint Replacement Surgery
Smokers seem to experience more complications when they undergo joint replacement surgery, according to various studies. Two studies presented at an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting found that smoking patients may be at increased risk when having total knee or hip replacement. Researchers discovered that the overall revision rate (the number of surgeries that had to be repeated) was 10 times higher for smokers compared with nonsmokers. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about these risks and get help to quit.
Heart Problems and Joint Replacement
A recent study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery suggests that joint replacement patients who have atrial fibrillation (A-fib) had a longer length of stay in the hospital, increased costs of medical care and higher complication rates. If you have A-fib or another heart-related condition, talk with your physician or get a second opinion to investigate other potential treatment options.
The Importance of Post-Surgical Care
Caring for your new joint and making lifestyle changes play an important role after joint replacement surgery. Are you willing to attend physical therapy appointments and exercise regularly? Losing weight can also help reduce the amount of stress you place on your joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees.
Get a Second Opinion
Many people consider joint replacement surgery to manage severe knee pain. However, some are hesitant to have surgery because they don’t want to undergo a risky procedure. Fortunately, Flexogenix® offers nonsurgical treatment options so you can avoid the risks associated with surgery and return to the activities you enjoy without a long recovery period.
Taking control of your joint health is important. Before undergoing surgery, contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about non-surgical treatment options that can help you lead an active life.