Is It Time to Consider Joint Replacement?
Do even the most routine movements bother your joints? Whether you’re rising from a chair, walking long distances, or climbing the stairs, joint pain can be a hindrance to your everyday life. No matter the cause, from arthritis to joint overuse, there are many potential treatments available to relieve the pain. But when is it time to start thinking about joint replacement?
Treatments for Joint Pain
Joint replacement is a life-changing surgery that can relieve your pain and help you live independently, but most doctors will recommend other treatment options before considering surgery.
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medications, including acetaminophens, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Creams or Ointments
Pain-relief creams are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Your doctor may recommend these creams to alleviate joint pain.
Cortisone shots help relieve inflammation while offering quick pain relief that can last several months. Hyaluronic acid injections increase the natural fluids in joints that keep them operating smoothly.
Other treatments include exercise, physical therapy, weight loss, and nutritional supplements. All of these methods have varying degrees of success, and if they don’t work for you, your doctor may suggest joint replacement surgery as your next option.
When conservative measures fail and pain affects your quality of life, daily activities, and ability to function, it’s time to consider surgery. According to Justin Brazeal, MD, orthopedic surgeon at CHI St. Joseph Health Orthopaedic Associates, “Joint replacement surgery involves replacing your damaged joint with a new, artificial one; this allows for the relief or elimination of joint pain for years to decades and possibly up to a lifetime.” The length of recovery time for the surgery depends on factors such as your age, what joints you replace, and other surgical factors. Some of the issues that can arise after joint replacement surgery include infection, blood clots, loose joints, product recalls, and nerve and blood vessel injuries.
If joint pain keeps you from performing everyday tasks or living life to the fullest, visit one of our CHI St. Joseph Health orthopedic specialists to get the relief you need. Schedule a consultation with our Joint University healthcare professionals to see if you qualify for joint replacement surgery.