Joint Replacements: What To Know

Posted on: 30 June 2019

If you've already been talking to your doctor about joint replacement services involving one of your knees or hips, you may be in lot of pain and want to go forward with a procedure immediately. However, you must become aware of these details and work with your physician to make the joint replacement a success.

Weight Loss Could Be a Requirement

People who are overweight or obese are sometimes more likely to seek and need joint replacements. If you know you've got pounds to lose, realize that your surgeon could require that you wait for surgery. They could ask for you to drop some of that excess weight before you're approved. Overweight people are considered to be more likely to develop infections and have difficulty after anesthesia than other patients. There is also a concern that extra weight could lead to loosening of the replacement.

Know What Materials Will Be Used

Many don't realize joint replacement parts can be made of metal, plastic and even ceramic. The difference in materials can often mean a difference in the amount of money that your surgery will cost. Your surgeon or the facility where you're having the procedure should be able to provide a price list.

Cost is just a single factor related to the kinds of materials that will be used in your replacement. Your surgeon may opt not to use metal parts for both the "socket" and the "ball" which constitute a single joint.  That's because metal parts have, in the past, been recalled. To lower the risk of having parts put in your body that will later be required to come out, they're likely to prefer a metal component with a ball and a plastic "socket".

You'll Need Physical Therapy

You absolutely must move your new hip or knee around. Sedentary activity is never good after surgery, but when you've got a replacement, blood clots and other complications are especially possible. You will have to get around, even if it's uncomfortable. In particular, your physician will likely ask you to set up physical therapy.

Physical therapy is smart for anyone with a joint replacement because not only will you get moving, but you will also learn how to move so that you minimize pain. Your physical therapist will train you to walk with your replacement and what to pay attention to if something seems off. They'll give you the right workouts so that your body can heal nicely.

Joint replacement services administered by your doctor or surgeon can be essential if you're considering or have decided upon surgery. Their guidance can make the procedure seem to go more easily overall.