Joint Replacement – Is it Right for You?
By Mary W. Poole
Joint Replacement surgery is the last line of treatment for chronic knee, shoulder and hip pain; reserved for when all other modes of treatment – including physical therapy and medications – have failed to produce desired results. That being said, joint replacement surgery is a highly effective means of eliminating joint pain, as well as correcting a deformity and restoring mobility. Joint replacement surgery is also performed to treat advanced arthritis.
Candidates for joint replacement surgery often have severe joint pain, stiffness, limping, muscle weakness, limitation of motion, and swelling. Depending on the joint affected and the amount of damage, ordinary activities such as walking, putting on socks and shoes, getting into and out of cars, and climbing stairs may become difficult.
The most common causes of joint dysfunction are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. While nobody is certain what causes arthritis, a number of factors may contribute to joint deterioration and lead to arthritis. Joint replacement surgery is designed to replace the damaged cartilage and any associated loss of bone structure. The procedure itself is a resurfacing of the damaged joint, and relies on the patient’s muscles and ligaments for support and function. The prosthesis (replacement joint) are made of titanium, cobalt chrome, stainless steel, ceramic material, and polyethylene (plastic). It can be affixed to the bone with acrylic cement or it can be press-fit, which allows bone to grow into the implant. Once the joint replacement is in place, its motion and function are restored through physical therapy. The three most common joint replacement surgeries are hip, knee, and shoulder.
At The Joint Rejuvenation Center at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, you will meet your personal team of highly dedicated and specialty trained professionals, consisting of physicians, physician assistants, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, an occupational therapist, case managers, pharmacists, lab technicians and an orthopedic care coordinator. We are looking forward to the opportunity to assist you in your journey toward an improved level of activity, which will result in a better quality of life. The Joint Rejuvenation Center was developed to provide a comprehensive and planned course of personalized treatment for your total joint replacement experience. Every detail, from pre-operative planning to post-operative rehabilitation exercising is considered and reviewed with you. The program designed by the Joint Rejuvenation Center will give you information necessary to inform and guide you to a safe and successful surgical outcome. We encourage you to invite a member of your family or close friend to be your personal coach. Your coach should be able to assist you with getting to and from appointments and supporting you during your recovery.
For more information regarding joint replacement surgery, please call 409-212-7284. Classes are held on Wednesdays in the Joint Rejuvenation Center at Baptist Beaumont Hospital at 1p.m. Classes are opened to public but require a reservation.
Mary W. Poole is Director Public Relations at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas
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