Is Joint Replacement Surgery Right For You?
Any decision to have surgery should not be taken lightly, and knee and hip replacement procedures are no exception. Here’s how to know whether it’s time to consider it:
• You have knee or hip pain that keeps you awake, or awakens you, at night.
• You have knee or hip pain that limits activities necessary to go about your daily routine such as getting up from a chair, climbing stairs or getting in and out of car.
• You have knee or hip pain that limits activities that give you pleasure (such as walking for exercise, traveling or shopping).
• You have tried medication for a reasonable period of time, and you still have persistent knee pain.
Have a discussion your doctor. You’ll both need to consider other factors prior to surgery such as your:
• Overall health. Hypertension, heart disease or lung disease will add to the risk of surgery. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, certain skin diseases such as psoriasis or you are on immunosuppression drugs, you may also be at higher risk of infection from surgery.
• Weight. If you’re overweight you might have a longer or more difficult recovery from surgery and artificial joints are not likely to last as long.
• Age. If surgery presents more of a risk because of age than a deteriorating joint, most doctors will not perform the operation.
• Bone Density. If you have severe osteoporosis or a history of stress fractures, the doctor will want to treat this before going into surgery.