Joint Replacement surgeries are a common procedure currently. Joints such as shoulder, hip and knee carry or balance our body-weight all the time, so their health is critical for our mobility and good quality of life. In recent years, changing diets and lifestyles have resulted in a large number of people with weakened joints, worn-out joints, arthritis and other bone-related ailments. While home-based remedies can only alleviate the pain and discomfort temporarily, they cannot correct the mechanical issues in the joint. Joint Replacement is a better alternative.
With the joints replaced, patients can benefit from:
- Reduced or eliminated joint pain
- Restored or maintained joint motion
- Improved overall joint function
- Better look and alignment of the joints
However, there are several myths around hip or knee replacement surgeries.
Fact: The most common myth is that joint replacement surgeries are only for those over 60 years of age. However, if your family has a history of arthritis, or you have suffered an accident or suffer from some ailment in bone joints, it’s never too early for a joint replacement. The surgery will restore a normal lifestyle soon.
Fact: People who are over 80 years feel that they have crossed the age for joint replacement. If the person’s general health and body functions are normal, joint replacement can be done at an advanced age too.
- Myth: Joint replacement should be the last resort
Fact: Many patients put off joint replacement as long as possible due to misconceptions. The resulting pain limits their mobility and in turn reduces their muscle and bone function. Some patients even put on unwanted weight because of this. All this will delay the recovery post surgery. Undergoing the surgery at the right time will do away with all these disadvantages.
- Myth: You suffer from some conditions
Fact: Another common myth is that people suffering from Diabetes, high BP or heart issues are a poor candidate. This is not true. The doctors will control these conditions, monitor your health and operate at the right time.
- Myth: It won’t feel the same as natural
Fact: Again, a strong misconception. Joint replacements are like replacing the worn-out tyres of your car with new ones. You are getting a new joint, so you will only feel better and be able to renew your previous lifestyle.
Fact: With increased demand for joint replacements, newer techniques and materials used, the cost of these surgeries has come down in recent years. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime decision and will prove cost-effective. In contrast, not undergoing this surgery can be costlier in terms of enduring pain lifelong, missed opportunities, poor quality-of-life and costly therapies.
- Myth: It’s highly invasive and painful
Fact: Unlike common perceptions, the entire knee is not replaced. Only a small piece of bone is removed to insert the new joint. A small metal cap for the thigh bone, a metal base plate for the shin bone and a small piece of plastic in between to act as cartilage and are all fitted using small and few incisions.
- Myth: There will be side effects
Fact: If the surgery is performed by a reputed surgeon at a hygienic and well-maintained hospital, there will be no reactions to the implant. The patient is closely monitored after surgery.
- Myth: The joint will wear out in 10 years
Fact: While this was true 2 decades ago, advancements made in the quality of materials used have increased their lifespan to 30 years or more.
- Myth: The hospital stay will be long
Fact: Most patients are encouraged to walk or climb stairs the same day of surgery. While patients for knee replacement are discharged in 2 days time, those for hip replacement are discharged in 3 days time.
- Myth: I should say goodbye to sports
Fact: Not true. People who have had a joint replacement can get back to light jogging, or an occasional game of tennis. Vigorous sports like football or long distance running however is best avoided.
- Myth: I will need walking aids all the time
Fact: Walkers and walking sticks are needed only in the initial days after surgery to provide balance. Quickly, the new joint will be able to bear the entire load and you won’t need these aids.
- Myth: Due to my age, recovery will be slow
Fact: If your overall health and body functions are normal, your age is not a deterrent for quick recovery.
Joint Replacement is a highly specialized and well-managed procedure today. It involves orthopaedic surgeons who are highly experienced in joint replacements, doctors from other disciplines, physiotherapists and trained nurses. Contact a reputed hospital which offers this kind of expertise, and high-quality patient-care post-surgery, for best results.