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What happens when your joints start causing you pain? Certainly, impairment to the knee, hip, shoulder, or other joints can limit your mobility and inhibit your productivity. Joint pain can make it challenging to complete the simplest home, work, or school tasks. It can even keep you up at night, robbing you of a good night's rest. Fortunately, there are medical solutions available for those with joint pain. The first step toward relief is meeting with a joint replacement doctor who can advise you on the best course of action, surgical or otherwise.
Joint pain can be caused by a number of factors, the most common being arthritis. Patients who have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis quickly grow tired of constant joint pain and are ready for a solution that offers lasting relief, and joint replacement can offer that relief. Patients also come to us with other conditions, such as complications from old injuries. No matter the nature of the injury, joint replacement surgery can provide a path toward ongoing freedom from pain and a return to regular mobility.
But what does joint replacement surgery entail? Of course, it largely depends on the joint in question. The procedures our specialists perform include:
- Anterior hip replacement
- Hip replacement
- Partial knee replacement
- Shoulder replacement
- Total knee replacement
Regardless of the type of surgery you have, the basic principle is the same. Your surgeon will remove all or part of the joint and replace it with an artificial implant. This eliminates your joint pain and swelling and offers a long-term source of relief.
How do you know if you are a good candidate for knee replacement, total hip replacement, or a similar surgery? The first step is to meet with an orthopedic surgeon who can perform a full medical evaluation, including imaging such as X-rays or arthroscopy, and provide an accurate diagnosis. He or she can then recommend nonsurgical solutions, if possible. However, if nonsurgical treatments don't work, joint replacement surgery may be required.
Following knee, shoulder, or hip replacement surgery, you can expect a period of recovery. Most patients will start to regain mobility after just a few days, although it may be a matter of months before you feel totally back to normal. However, pain medication can be provided to minimize discomfort, and the use of ice is highly effective at reducing swelling. Your surgeon will talk to you in detail about your postoperative care.
Another important part of the recovery process is physical therapy. For most patients, physical therapy begins the day after the surgery itself and is a vital way to ensure that your body heals quickly and properly. Physical therapy may last for a few weeks beyond after your surgery. Your joint replacement surgeon will work with your physical therapist to develop a rehabilitation plan that is individualized to your needs and goals.
A common question we receive is how long a joint implant lasts. Patients can expect their joint implant to last between 10 and 20 years. Beyond that, pain sometimes returns, at which point a second surgery called a joint revision may be necessary. However, this is not a typical scenario, and a majority of patients will receive lasting relief from their joint replacement.
There is no reason for anyone to settle for chronic joint pain. Relief is possible, and it starts when you see the right doctor and ask about the different options available to you.
At OAK Orthopedics, our specialty-trained joint replacement doctors, Dr. Wesley Choy, Dr. Alexander Michalow, Dr. Michael Corcoran, Dr. Rajeev Puri, Dr. Eddie Jones Jr., Dr. Eric Varboncouer, and Dr. Tom Antkowiak,, have extensive experience in treating a variety of joint conditions and injuries. Our goal is to help our patients get back on their feet as quickly as possible, free from pain and swelling.
If you have joint pain that you'd like evaluated, we encourage you to contact our team of orthopedic doctors today at one of our three locations in Bradley, Frankfort, or Watseka. Call (815) 928-8050 for our Bradley or Watseka office or (815) 469-3452 for our Frankfort office, or request an appointment online with one of our experienced joint replacement surgeons.