At some point, joint damage affects practically everyone. Whether caused by an injury, arthritis or the gradual wear and tear of life, joint pain can often be treated with exercise, lifestyle changes or medication. When these aren’t enough, however, joint replacement surgery may become necessary. Offering years of use, artificial joints can greatly improve your quality of life.
PREPARING FOR THE DAY – The first step is to meet with an orthopedic specialist. Depending on the deterioration, you may require a partial or full joint replacement. Either way, your orthopedic specialist will educate you on the surgery, answering questions and giving a clear picture of what to expect during and after your procedure. Leading up to surgery, you’ll need to eat a healthy diet and perform special exercises. These two steps can help you recover from surgery and regain full range of motion faster.
THE BIG DAY – On the day of surgery, you’ll check in at the hospital and be taken in for surgery. In some joint replacement cases, minimally invasive techniques can be employed, offering smaller incisions and less disruption to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. But each case is different, so talk with your surgeon about what might work best for you. And believe it or not, just hours after leaving the operating room, a physical therapist may help you begin using your new joint.
GOING HOME – Recovery continues with in-home therapy. During this time, a therapist visits your home a few times a week. As you gain function in your new joint, you will transition to outpatient therapy. Within a few weeks, you should finish your formal rehabilitation process. While you continue working to strengthen your new joints, you should be able to return to everyday life, doing many of the things you love!
PHOTO CAP: Living with joint pain? It doesn’t have to be that way. Call Dr. Menachem Meller at 215-785-9818 to learn more.