What are Joint Replacement Surgery Risks?
A surgery which helps you cure arthritis or damaged joint through removal or replacement procedure is called Joint replacement surgery. The joint where two or more bones connect is either replaced by ceramic or plastic or metal. This replacement method is called a prosthesis.
Thus prosthesis helps you carry typical day to day work as before through healthy joint movement. The two most common type of joint replacement are hip and knee joint replacements. However, people require other types of joint replacements too like elbow, shoulder, wrist, and ankle.
Risk and complication in joint replacement surgery
The risk of joining replacement surgery can be a pretty dangerous effect like every other major surgery. Besides, risk increases if you are a heart patient or diabetic, and your condition is not under control. When you are suffering from such diseases, your immune system is naturally low. So the defence system to fight the surgery injury is not very strong. The health risks are as follows:
- You can suffer from internal blot clot or infection.
- Infection in the surrounding area of the prosthesis
- The surrounding nerve may get injured, although the case is scarce.
- Wound injection
In addition to health risks, you can also suffer through a significant problem like the replaced joint is not working as expected. If you do not utilise it to the maximum, it will get stiff or weak. This case is more common if you have gone through knee replacement. So make sure you follow the schedule as shared by your orthopaedic containing medicine, rest and exercise.
Although it’s not very common, there are also some cases where the new joint gets dislocated or loose. The maximum life of joint replacement surgery is twenty years. It means that after twenty years it will wear out and you will need another surgery.
Benefits of joint replacement surgery
Joint replacement surgery does not always involve risk. There are some advantages because of which people opt for going through the surgery. The two main benefits as to why people go through joint replacement are:
First, it releases tremendous pain. The knee or hip replacement help release the pain as the doctor replaces the damaged joint with metal or plastic implants. Thus the doctor also replaces the pain-causing cartilage or bone.
Second is the smoothness through which the joint works. But these may not be true in every case. After a knee or hip replacement, people can move more conveniently. Some are even able to resume their career as golfer or rider. But still as said earlier, there is no guarantee.
When should you consider going through the surgery?
If you have been suffering from extreme joint pain and immovability, you should consider joint replacement surgery. It is essential if the joint pain is a result of damaged articulate cartilage. The articulate cartilages are the cartilage surrounding the bones. This damage is maybe due to fracture, arthritis or any other condition.
It will become necessary for you to go through treatment if no other methods are working on you. The treatment can be physical therapy, medications or any other method. However, if you have muscle or nerve pain, the joint replacement will not help you. Your doctor will be able to identify the difference with some physical exam and pain-related questions.
It can provide a new opportunity to those who once thought they could not move their joint again. It is most common in professionals from the varied sports careers.
How much time does it take to recover?
Every person has a different immune system; thus, it takes additional time for them to recover. Generally your orthopaedic will ask you to move or use your replaced joint shortly. However, it can be not easy at first. But, it is sensible to follow your doctor’s fast recovery recommendation.
Some patients also experience some short-term pain in the new joint area. This pain is because the muscle surrounding the joint is weak and inactive. The body needs time to adjust and heal from primary surgery. The pain requires a few months to heal.
For recovery, you must follow the exercise routine given by your doctor. The therapist, in consultation with your doctor, prepares a specific exercise schedule for recovery. These exercises help to restore strength and movement of your joint.
What happens in the surgery?
During the operation, the doctor replaces your damaged bone or cartilage and replaces it with other elements. These elements are called prosthetic parts and include ceramic, plastic, and metal. This prosthetic mimics the size and shape of the original joint and acts as the original. It also mimics the movement of it. The surgery usually takes a few hours. The process is generally in an outpatient surgery centre and hospital.
The perfect example of this surgery is arthritic hip where the damaged ball is put back with metal ball. This metal ball and the metal stem are attached to the femur. The plastic socket is pierced in the pelvic area after removing the damaged socket.
The joint replacement can remove the pain, but it cannot restore the original hip or knee joint. You cannot expect to move your joint the same way you used to like 20 or 40 years ago.
You might not need joint replacement surgery if you take action beforehand. If you carry out activities like biking, walking, and swimming when there is still time, you can recover. These healthy activities ensure you do not suffer from arthritis problem, and if you have, it lessens tremendously. There are other options to reduce arthritis problems like joint injections, nutritional supplements, weight loss, etc.
Walking on two limbs is what separates us humans from rest of the animals but this comes at a great cost. Our knees have to withstand forces anywhere between 3 times our body weight during climbing stairs to 7 times the body weight during squatting exercises.
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