Joint repair surgery is a procedure that involves the replacement of damaged or arthritic joints with plastic, ceramic, or metal devices known as the prosthesis. It is specially designed to replicate the normal and healthy movements of the joint. Changing a damaged joint can reduce the constant pain and help with better movement. While knee and hip replacement operations are the most commonly performed procedures, it can be carried out in other joints as well as wrist, shoulder, ankle, elbow, etc.
The Need for Total Joint Surgery
There are various health conditions that can result in joint pain or disability, which leads to the need for joint surgery. In most cases, the surgery is caused by severe damage to the cartilage which either is the result of a fracture or arthritis. And, if other non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, medicine, change in regular activities, don’t provide you relief then your doctor is likely to recommend you a joint replacement operation.
During the Joint Repair Surgery
During the joint replacement operation, your doctor will administer a numbing medicine, so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. The medicine will either numb the operational area or put you to sleep altogether. Then the doctor creates an incision to remove the damaged joint and replaces it with a new one. The procedure doesn’t take that long and is typically completed in a couple of hours. Right after the surgery, you are moved to the recovery room for the numbness to succumb and you to regain consciousness.
Preparation for the Surgery
A week prior to your joint surgery, the surgical team will help you prepare for this upcoming event. The primary care doctor is going to check your general health by performing various tests like blood tests, X-rays, cardiogram, etc. This allows your surgeon to get a clear idea of your present health status and help plan your operation.
On a personal level, you should gather as much information as you can about the surgery so that you walk in well-informed and prepared. Talk to your doctor and don’t hesitate to ask questions and clarify every doubt that crops up in mind. A special attention should be given to a healthy and balanced diet. And, exercising is another attribute that will help your body gain strength, which will be highly beneficial during the recovery process.
The Process of Recovery
The process of recovery is different depending on the health of a person. In most cases, the doctor recommends exercising your new joints soon after the operation. However, initially it will be a challenging task but if you will follow the instructions to the cards, the recovery process will be faster.
Additionally, it is natural to feel a temporary pain around the surgical area, as the muscles present there are weak from being inactive and the tissues are healing. The pain tends to go after a few months because by that time, the body has fully accepted the new joint.
Physical exercise is a very important aspect of the rehabilitation process. Your physical therapist will give you particular joint exercises that will help in movement restoration and strengthening of the joint.
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