Chronic pain in a knee or hip can keep you from doing the things you love. But did you know that 90% of those who elect to have a total joint replacement are able to improve their mobility and get back to the active lifestyle they once enjoyed? It’s no wonder then that nearly a million Americans elect to have a knee or joint replaced each year.
But, as with any surgery, a total joint replacement comes with its own set of risks and should only be elected when the benefits outweigh everything else.
Electing to have any kind of surgery is a big decision. Here are five questions that can help you decide if total joint replacement may be right for you or a loved one:
Are you experiencing daily, chronic pain in your joint?
Occasional aches and pains in a joint are normal. But experiencing constant, consistent pain in a joint, even while resting, is not. Be sure to let your doctor know if the pain in your knee or hip just doesn’t go away. It may be a sign you need a knee or hip replacement.
Does the joint feel stiff throughout the day?
Some seniors experience stiffness in their joints first thing in the morning, a symptom that generally subsides quickly. However, those who experience stiffness in a joint throughout the day, no matter how much they attempt to move it, may have a deeper issue.
Does pain in your hip or knee keep you up at night?
For seniors, a good night's sleep can leave you more alert, while also improving memory and overall mental health. But chronic joint pain can disrupt your sleep patterns, leaving you groggy, irritable and tired throughout the day. If this type of chronic pain is disrupting your sleep, be sure to speak with your doctor.
Do you find yourself avoiding steps or daily activities that involve walking?
As you age, it's important to stay active. Doing so is not only good for you physically, but mentally as well. But chronic joint pain can make daily activities like using the stairs, getting in and out of the car, or walking from one room to another increasingly difficult.
Have other treatments failed to relieve your pain?
While joint replacement surgery is shown to be highly effective in improving mobility, it's often only elected after a number of other treatment options have failed. If medications, physical therapy and heat or ice treatments are unable to ease your pain, you may be a good candidate for total joint replacement.
If you find yourself answering "yes" to many of the questions above, be sure to speak with your doctor about your options, as well as any risks or complications that may arise if total joint replacement is your best solution.
Total joint replacement surgery is just the first step in getting you back to the daily activities you love. Post-surgery, make sure you or your loved one has access to the care they need to put them on a path to a healthy recovery. At Western Home Communities, we offer short-term stays in our Rehab to Home program that allow seniors to heal quickly and get back home. To learn more about how we're helping seniors regain independence after surgery, please contact us today.