Joint replacement surgery may be a great way to alleviate your osteoarthritic joint pain. But apprehension soon follows when considering a surgeon, preparation and expectations for recovery afterward.
Everyone knows someone who has had a joint replacement, but not everyone feels comfortable asking the personal questions, such as, “How did it really go … behind the scenes, that is?” Here are some helpful hints:
First, make sure you try all the options available to you. It’s never too late for joint replacement, but you can also try medications, injectable medications and lubricants, and physical therapy while still enjoying an active lifestyle. If it turns out surgery is for you, ask your doctor about complete vs. partial replacement, especially for knee surgery.
On the day of surgery, rest assured that you will be well cared for. There are many ways now to control your pain after surgery without heavy painkillers. Also, most hospitals have a joint care specialist to help you navigate the entire process – from the decision to have surgery to your return home. During your recovery, you can expect physical therapy for three months and a return to driving when you are off painkillers and able to control the vehicle.
Finally, what can’t you do after joint replacement? You can do just about anything, once cleared by your physician. Although high-impact activities such as running are not advised, we fully anticipate you will be able to return to the active lifestyle you were meant to live.