Is It Time for a New Joint?

Is It Time for a New Joint?Joint Replacement Surgery
Millions of us struggle with pain and loss of motion because of joint damage caused by arthritis. If other treatments don’t help, you may wonder about turning in your worn-out joints for new ones.

Should You Have Surgery?
Joint replacement should be a final step in treatment. Other treatments are often suggested before this procedure, including:

  • Using pain medicine
  • Losing weight to ease stress on the joint
  • Cutting back on activities that cause pain
  • Doing exercises to keep muscles and joints flexible, promote fitness, and make muscles stronger that support damaged joints

When Do You Need Surgery?
An X-ray showing joint damage is only one of the factors used to decide who should have joint replacement surgery. Your pain and other symptoms are the main things to keep in mind—this is mostly a quality of life decision.

People who are considering joint replacement surgery should have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Severe pain during activity, such as walking or getting up from a chair
  • Pain that prevents activities
  • Pain at night that hinders sleeping

What Can You Expect?
To get ready, work with your health care provider to be sure you can handle anesthesia. Any health problems (including dental issues) should be addressed before surgery.

Total joint replacement usually involves a two- or three-day hospital stay. You'll likely be released from the hospital on the third or fourth day. But you'll need time to heal. Recovery from joint replacement surgery may involve some pain for two to three months. But it's often a different type of pain and will improve as you get better.

Surgery may not be your first choice. But if you are a candidate for total joint replacement, know that more than 90 percent of people have good to excellent results—they get relief from pain and can return to normal daily activities.

Same-Day Surgery
As a busy mom of two, Iliana didn’t have time for a two- or three-day hospital stay. But thanks to technological advancements, Norwalk Hospital was able to replace her hip in the morning and have her home by 2 p.m. that afternoon. Click here to watch the story of her same-day total joint replacement.