For many joint replacement patients, years of arthritis and joint pain have led to decreased mobility and a loss of doing things they once loved, like traveling, golfing, gardening or playing in the yard with grandkids. For others, pain affects daily activities where finding a close parking spot at the grocery store is essential.
“The most predictable thing about hip or knee replacement surgery is removing weight bearing pain,” said Dr. Martin Redish, an orthopedic surgeon with Parkridge Bone and Joint. “Walking, exercising, going up and down stairs, we know we can make that pain better.”
The decision for joint replacement surgery is an individual one, but many patients live in pain for years before deciding that joint replacement is right for them. “For most patients, this is several years of an up and down course that is slowly devolved. It’s not a three months ago I started having pain, and now I’m having a joint replacement,” said Dr. Redish.
It’s important to note that physicians have other methods of treating arthritis and joint pain before surgery. There are anti-inflammatory medications, steroid or cortisone injections, certain therapy techniques and weight loss. “This doesn’t cure their arthritis, but it can help the symptoms,” said Dr. Redish.
While joint replacement is a major surgery, it can improve quality of life, and in a matter of weeks, patients can be back to low-impact activities and more vigorous exercise after three months. “We want patients to know that they don’t have to live with their joint pain, especially if it is interfering with everyday life,” said Dr. Redish. “We are committed to quality outcomes, and most patients are up walking with assistance the day of their surgery, and some can even go home the same day.”
If you are having hip or knee pain, the first step is to get an x-ray and see a surgeon so you can start to learn your options for treatment. Parkridge Health System offers joint replacement surgery in Chattanooga, offering convenient access for patients to receive care in their communities. To learn more, go to ParkridgeHealth.com or call (423) 493-5220.