Find freedom with total joint replacement.
Living life to the fullest is hard to do with constant joint pain.
“A bad shoulder, hip or knee can make everyday life a struggle,” says Lake Regional Orthopedic Surgeon Ryan Morris, D.O. “Normal things that people take for granted — walking around a store, going up stairs, even sleeping — become a lot harder to do. Total joint replacement can provide relief.”
Why it’s done
In total joint replacement, an orthopedic surgeon rebuilds the worn-out joint with metal, plastic or ceramic parts. The parts are either cemented in place or positioned in a way that allows bone to grow into the components.
Severe arthritis is by far the most common reason joints need replaced. Arthritis can damage the cushion of cartilage within a joint until bones begin to rub against bones, causing pain and stiffness.
“If you’ve tried other treatments for joint pain, such as physical therapy and steroid medications, but haven’t found relief, it may be time to consider joint replacement surgery,” Dr. Morris says.
Surgery might be a good option if:
• Your shoulder, hip or knee is weak and hard to move.
• Joint pain limits your daily activities, like getting dressed, using a toilet or bathing.
• Your shoulder, hip or knee hurts even when you rest, and it keeps you awake at night.
Does age matter?
Doctors used to recommend patients wait until they were 65 for joint replacement because new joints do not last forever — usually 15 years is a good expectation.
“But many people struggling with joint pain in midlife don’t want to wait until they are retired to get help,” Dr. Morris says. “Many decide, ‘I want good mobility now, and if I need a second surgery later, I’m OK with that.’”
Lake Regional Health System offers a free Total Joint Camp on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. In two hours, patients learn what to expect before, during and after total joint replacement surgery. The class includes tips from physical and occupational therapists, dietitians and social workers, as well as education from nurses.
“Our goal is to help patients recover more quickly and prepare for an active lifestyle with their new joint,” says Mary Overman, R.N., a Lake Regional nurse navigator who leads patients through the entire joint replacement experience, from preparing for surgery to recovering at home. “The camp also helps reduce the anxiety patients feel before their procedure because they learn how to recover safely during camp.”
Learn more about the Lake Regional Orthopedics team at lakeregional.com/orthopedics.
Your before-surgery checklist
• Do all your assigned exercises to prepare you for recovery.
• Address health issues that could increase the risk of complications, such as obesity, uncontrolled diabetes and smoking.
• Make your home recovery-friendly by removing tripping hazards (including rugs), installing grab bars in the bathroom and borrowing adaptive devices, such as a shower chair, a walker or crutches to make it easier to get around.
Total Ankle Replacement
Ankles are another joint that sometimes need replaced. Lake Regional Podiatrist Cody Fox, DPM, FACFAS, is board certified in foot and ankle surgery and provides total ankle replacement. Learn more at lakeregional.com/footandankle.
Anita Harrison is a PR Specialist at Lake Regional Health System.