Orthopedic Associates' Blog


Orthopedic Associates' Blog

Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?
Do you need a total joint replacement for your arthritis?

By: Dr. Richard Hulsey

The aches and discomfort of arthritis can disrupt anyone’s everyday routine. A simple walk through the store is no longer relaxing as ol’ “Arthur” lets you know he’s still around. Pain medication doesn’t seem to do the trick. Physical therapy helped, but your arthritis pain still flares up at times. Would a total joint replacement relieve your arthritis pain?

This is a frequent question many of our patients ask who are suffering from arthritis. Arthritis is more common than ever with people living longer. The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons estimates 500,000 hip replacements and 3,000,000 knee replacements will need to be performed each year by the year 2030. (American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons) But the question remains: do you need total joint replacement to be free of your arthritis pain?

We believe in exploring all viable treatment options, starting with non-invasive treatments, to help alleviate your arthritis pain. For many patients, undergoing a total joint replacement may provide the relief and new lease on life they need. However, there are several criteria we consider before recommending total joint replacement:

  • What non-invasive treatment options may still be explored? Undergoing surgery can present its own set of potential risks and complications, both during and after the surgery. We would rather consider all appropriate treatment options before entertaining surgery.

  • What is quality of the patient’s overall health? A patient’s age, current health, any other medical complications or conditions, and medical history are crucial factors in determining whether surgery is a wise decision.

  • How much time is the patient expected to miss from work and other responsibilities due to recovering from surgery? The typical total joint replacement patient can expect to be back to work within six to eight weeks. Of course, the timeline varies for each patient and their occupation.

  • Would partial joint replacement be a more appropriate option? Partial joint replacement may be a viable option for knee joints and have definite advantages and risks. However, there are specific criteria that have to be met to be considered for a partial knee replacement

Understand that total joint replacement is no guarantee you will be free from all discomfort. At the same time, many patients who meet the criteria do experience tremendous relief from much, if not all, of their arthritic pain. If you’re considering total joint replacement to alleviate arthritis, the first step is starting a conversation with our Orthopedic Associates team. Schedule an appointment with Orthopedic Associates.

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