Although hip and/or knee surgery should be performed only when absolutely necessary, it is often the best option for people who succumb daily to painful discomfort (because of hip and knee disease or trauma), whose private & work duties are being seriously affected, and who have exhausted other practical options, including active, life-long prevention.
IMPORTANT STATISTICAL FACTS
Patients considering knee, hip or joint replacement need to become fully aware of all available treatment options, as well as what to expect from these procedures. Some of the important facts to keep in mind include:
- Knee replacement medicine has been steadily improving since 1968.
- Over 300,000 knee and 120,000 hip replacements are successfully and safely performed yearly in the US.
- Osteoarthritis, a major reason for joint dysfunction/deterioration, afflicts over 50,000,000 Americans.
- Joint trauma/disease afflicts the young as well as older folks; in fact, over 3,000,000 youngsters suffer sports injuries yearly.
MOST IMPORTANT MEDICAL FACTS
The best equipped patient is a well-informed patient. Consequently, some of the most critical medical facts to keep in mind include:
--Sometimes non-surgical techniques may be used for some patients—these include: special exercises, physical therapy, pain-control medications, special vitamins and minerals (e.g. glucosamine & chondroitin), losing weight, making dietary changes, steroid and lubricant injections (e.g., hyaluronic acid), etc. Some of these may also be given in conjunction with surgery.
--Some of the reasons for knee/hip replacements include rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, degenerative bone diseases (sometimes exacerbated/prompted by calcium deficiencies), sports injuries, job-related injuries, and accident-connected trauma.
--Lifestyle changes are often an integral part of joint replacement recovery/on-going-treatment plans. These may involve driving, working, walking, pharmacological and dietary restrictions/changes.
--Knee/hip replacement procedures are usually followed with physical therapist/physiatrist-recommended/supervised special exercises that speed up recovery, maximize use of the new joint and help prevent future injuries.
--Joint health is integrally related to muscle and cartilage health/strength—why these need to be strengthened and well-maintained.
--Joint replacement surgery is one of the most utilized surgical services, each year helping thousands of patients resume otherwise mobility-compromised lifestyles.
--Joint replacement surgeons undergo extensive training in their field; the most experienced experts are prolific authors, high-in-demand lecturers and well-recognized public speakers.
--The best knee replacement centers utilize ConforMIS technology since it makes custom-fit, personalized joints possible.
--The knee one of the biggest and one of the most complex joints in the human body. Because it is also one of the most used joints (often also the most abused), it requires special attention.
--New technology and treatment options are now making knee and hip replacements safer, less painful and more practical than ever before.
If considering knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty), you should know some basic facts. The knee, the joint formed by the thigh bone (femur), the shin bone (tibia) and the knee cap (patella), may need replacement if any of its three main compartments are diseased or damaged.
If not all three compartments need surgery, partial knee replacement may be possible—otherwise, full knee replacement may be necessary. Damaged or diseased parts are replaced by manufactured parts. The actual condition of the knee may be ascertained using imaging devices: X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.
Only a fully-qualified, licensed knee & hip repair/replacement surgeon can properly diagnose whether anyone needs knee or hip replacement. The process starts by getting fully evaluated at an accredited facility that can boast of a long, well-established reputation for high-quality work, professionals that are board certified (as well as highly-experienced), and the latest technology in equipment, training and treatment options.
Copyright, 2018. Fred Fletcher. All rights reserved.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES