This article was updated for content on August 10th, 2020. Previous comments have not been removed or edited.
If you suffer from severe joint pain, you know that it can force you to stop moving and refrain from enjoying your usual activities. Perhaps the pain is so unbearable that you’ve begun to consider joint replacement surgery. If you are struggling with the thought of joint replacement surgery, it is perfectly normal to have reservations. Surgery is a big decision, and can be even more overwhelming when complications occur.
Fortunately, knowledge is power when it comes to deciding whether or not joint replacement surgery is the right choice for you. This article will arm you with the facts that you need to decide which treatment method you want to pursue for your joint pain.
Know the Risks
Joint replacement surgery comes with other risks that you should know about, in addition to the usual risks associated with other surgical procedures. Infection, blood clots, dislocation, fractures, and anesthesia-related complications are just a few of the risks associated with joint replacement surgery. Talk to your health care provider or reference this article about specific risks related to your joint replacement procedure.
Be Aware of Metal Implant Allergies
Some people have allergies to the metals that are used in joint replacement surgeries. Metal implants are often used in orthopedic surgeries, including joint replacement surgery. If you are concerned about developing an allergic reaction to metal implants, talk to your doctor about your concerns. Some people find that the benefits of joint replacement surgery outweigh the risks, yet it is critical to understand all of the risks involved.
Smoking and Joint Replacement Surgery
Studies show that smokers seem to experience even more complications when they undergo joint replacement surgery. Two studies presented at an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting found that patients who smoke may be at an increased risk when having total knee or hip replacements. Researchers discovered that the overall revision rate (the number of surgeries that had to be re-done) was 10 times higher for smokers compared to nonsmokers. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about these risks, and look into getting help to quit smoking.
Heart Problems and Joint Replacement
A recent study published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery suggests that patients with atrial fibrillation (A-fib) who underwent joint replacement surgery had a longer stay in the hospital, increased medical care costs, and higher rates of complication. If you have A-fib or another heart-related condition, talk with your physician or thinking about getting a second opinion to investigate other potential treatment options.
The Importance of Post Surgical Care
Caring for your new joint and making lifestyle changes will also play an important role after joint replacement surgery. Are you willing to attend physical therapy appointments and commit to exercising regularly? Losing weight can also help reduce the amount of stress that you place on your joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees.
Get a Second Opinion
Many people consider joint replacement surgery to manage severe joint pain. However, many people are hesitant to have surgery because of the risks of the procedure, as well as a lengthy rehabilitation and recovery process.
Fortunately, Flexogenix® offers non-surgical treatment options so that you can avoid the risks associated with surgery, and get back to the active lifestyle that you deserve without a lengthy recovery period.
If you are considering surgery, or interested in learning more about our non-surgical solutions, contact us today to schedule a no-cost consultation. We will review all options for treatment and give you all of the information that you need to decide whether our non-surgical solutions are a good fit for you.