If you have joint pain, you know - it keeps you from living life to the fullest. Joint replacement surgery uses time-tested techniques and groundbreaking advances to make pain a thing of the past. This allows you to stay active and do all the things you love as you get older. Here’s what to know about your joint replacement options and how to get the top-quality care you deserve as you pursue a pain-free life.
What Are Common Reasons for Joint Replacement?
As you age, you may experience more stiffness, loss of mobility, and increased pain in your joints. A major reason for this is osteoarthritis, a condition that occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions your bones wears down over time. Osteoarthritis exposes bone patches and causes joint surfaces to become irregular and rough - a problem that gets worse the longer it’s left untreated. This can prevent smooth, pain-free motion. In fact, osteoarthritis is the most common reason for needing joint replacement in the knees or hips.
What Are the Symptoms?
If you’re wondering when it’s time to consider joint replacement, there are a few indicators to consider. If you are having trouble walking long distances, or if just basic standing, sitting, and moving from one spot to another feels increasingly difficult, it’s good to check in with a medical professional.
Common issues include:
Trouble sleeping or working because of pain
Restricted range of motion
Hip pain (usually starting in the groin, on the outside of the hip, or sometimes in the buttock, and developing slowly)
Knee pain (swelling, buckling, clicking, or locking of the knee)
Is Joint Replacement Right for You?
Nancy Moore, a resident of Colorado Springs, CO, and an avid hiker, knows the benefits of joint replacement surgery firsthand. Moore suffered from knee pain, which got progressively worse until she could barely walk. “I work on a college campus. I could not walk two buildings away without pain,” she says.
Moore decided to make an appointment with Todd Miner, M.D., at Centura Health Colorado Joint Replacement. “I told Dr. Miner I was there because I wanted to hike mountains again. He told me I would,” she says. Despite worries about how the procedure would turn out, Moore found talking with Dr. Miner put her mind at ease. “I felt like I could ask questions, and he always listened,” she says.
Two knee replacements later, Moore is back in the game. “I can stretch out with no pain,” she says. “I could even run if I had to. I keep getting better and better.” She even hiked Colorado’s famed Mount Parnassus shortly after her surgery. “I can’t even describe the feeling,” says Moore. “If you keep maintaining the exercise and the therapy they give you, you really can do amazing things.”
Why Do It Now?
With all you’ve got going on in your life, talking to a doctor about surgery may be the last thing on your mind. But joint replacement is not something you want to put off. Left untreated, many symptoms can get worse over time. If you have previously had surgery to alleviate joint pain, but are still experiencing symptoms, it might be time for a second opinion to see if joint replacement is an option.
Luckily, many people return to their everyday activities pain-free after undergoing joint replacement surgery. You don’t have to give up doing what you love.
The first step to get back to doing what you love is making an appointment with a qualified and caring doctor.