In almost every medical specialty, surgery is considered a last resort—most physicians vastly prefer to start with noninvasive treatments. But when there are no other options, modern surgical techniques can be a sure bet for optimal recovery and restored quality of life. Such is the case when dealing with joint injury or disease, which often demands surgery to replace damaged or diseased cartilage or bone structure.
Joint damage is most often the result of injury or overuse, but is also commonly caused by specific types of arthritis. Think arthritis is a simple ache that affects only the elderly? Think again. Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders made up of more than 100 diseases or conditions and it affects more than 50 million Americans of every age, race and gender. For many, especially those suffering osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, it becomes the underlying reason for needing a hip, knee, or shoulder replacement.
Modern Mechanics Keep It Simple
Modern approaches to joint replacement, like those practiced at Methodist McKinney Hospital (MMH), make the procedure minimally invasive and quick (our patients typically walk out of the hospital in 24-48 hours) and lead to very positive outcomes.
“Each year, Methodist McKinney Hospital successfully treats patients requiring joint replacement,” said Dr. Charles Toulson, a leading orthopedic surgeon at MMH. “Our patients experience greater outcomes because they are comfortable with the staff, familiar with the procedure and confident in the outcome.”
Consider the Possibilities
So what questions should you consider when deciding if joint replacement surgery is your best option? Discuss the following with your physician:
- Can you live with the pain you’re currently experiencing?
- Is pain affecting your daily life?
(Disrupting sleep, side effects from pain medicine, etc.)
- Has your pain gotten worse over the last year?
(If so, continued degeneration of the joint is likely.)
- Do you know that surgery could improve your condition?
- Do you have any health conditions that could adversely affect the surgical or healing processes?
Before moving forward with joint replacement, your physician will have to determine if you’re healthy enough for the procedure and will then help you understand how the procedure will affect you. It’s important to know that joint replacement may not restore 100% function, but almost always improves quality of life and relieves or eliminates pain.
Rediscover complete freedom of movement—learn more about the Total Joint Program at MMH, then join us for one of Dr. Toulson’s free educational seminars on robotic joint procedures. Click here for an updated schedule.