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5 Things to Know About Joint Replacements

When severe pain or joint damage limits your daily activities, it’s time to see a doctor. Most cases of joint pain are caused by degenerative damage to your articular cartilage, the cartilage that lines the ends of your bones.  The breaking down of cartilage is usually caused by overuse, arthritis, an injury, or another condition.

When lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or injection therapies (such as mesenchymal stromal cell or platelet injections) are no longer effective at reducing your joint pain, your doctor may recommend total joint replacement surgery.

1)  You Will Likely Walk the Day After Surgery

Being sedentary after surgery increases the risk of complications, such as blood clots, pneumonia, and bedsores. For those reasons, you’ll be encouraged to get up and at ‘em pretty quickly. In some cases, patients take a few steps— anywhere from 10 to 200 feet—the same day as the surgery.

2) Physical Therapy is Key

Moving around is critical after surgery — from the initial days following your operation and well into the coming weeks and months. The more you move, the better the long-term outcome. Most patients will see a physical therapist following their procedure and will be asked to practice exercises on their own.

3) Recovery Can Take Time

Full recovery can take up to a year. Starting out, you’ll recover in a rehabilitation facility or at home. While you’ll be asked to move almost immediately, driving is off the table for about six weeks. It’ll take some time to get you back into your job, and slowly over time, you’ll increase activity to fully regain your mobility and strength.

4) Losing Weight is Helpful

People who are overweight are 33 times more likely to need a joint replacement than people who are a healthy weight. They’re also more likely to experience complications after a procedure. Issues like infections, difficulty waking after anesthesia, and eventual joint loosening are all increased the more overweight a person is. For that reason, losing weight may be recommended and could even be a reason to delay surgery.

5) Artificial Joints Can Wear Out Over Time

The younger you are when receiving a joint replacement, the more likely you are to one day need to undergo joint replacement again. New joints can last anywhere between 15-25 years, so make sure to understand the implications of your joint replacement surgery when meeting with your doctor.

Beacon Specialists are at the Ready

The experts at Beacon Orthopaedics are not jack-of-all-trades doctors — they’re specialists. With advanced training in their areas of expertise, you can rest easy knowing your physician has in-depth knowledge and experience with your specific issue. Your unique path to recovery may include anything from orthobiologics, physical therapy, or arthroscopic surgery to partial joint replacement or total joint replacement surgery.

Our goal is to ensure patients have a high level of comfort in their care plan. To do that, we’ll discuss all of your treatment options and identify the best one for you, together.

Seeing a doctor as soon as you begin experiencing joint pain is critical. Oftentimes, the quicker you seek care, the less intensive the treatment you’ll require. At Beacon, surgical intervention is often reserved for when other non-invasive treatments haven’t worked, or no longer work, as desired.

Contact us to schedule a time to experience the Beacon difference.