If you have persistent hip pain, knee pain, or pain in another joint, you may be considering joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty). While this is a great option for treatment of advanced arthritis or traumatic injury, surgery may not be right for you if you’re relatively young. This is because early arthroplasties often require revision surgery after 10 to 20 years, particularly for male patients.
Adults typically consider joint replacement surgery when their arthritis pain and related mobility problems become severe. Perhaps everyday activities are becoming too difficult or even impossible. You may think, “Why not get a new, functional joint now instead of waiting?”
If your orthopedic surgeon has recommended that you wait before having joint replacement surgery, you may be wondering what the alternatives are. Let’s talk about some of the other methods of finding relief from your joint pain, and where you can go for treatment that lasts.
If Not Joint Replacement, Then What?
Nonsurgical treatment options can help you postpone or even eliminate the need of ever having arthroplasty. Treatment can involve one or a combination of strategies, including the following:
- Weight loss – Excess body weight wears away at the joint structures, especially in the hips, knees, and ankles. Weight loss of even 10 pounds can help to alleviate joint pain and improve mobility over the long-term.
- Exercise – Low-impact aerobic activities – such as biking, swimming, and walking – help to strengthen supporting muscles and to keep your weight at an optimal level.
- Healthy diet – Specifically, increase your intake of nuts, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. These are great anti-inflammatory foods. Avoid processed foods as much as possible. And as always, be sure to stay well-hydrated to keep toxins flushed out of your system.
- Smoking cessation – Tobacco and other stimulants can hinder circulation in the extremities, slow down healing mechanisms, and reduce the body’s natural response to pain. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about smoking-cessation medications.
- Physical therapy – An individualized program of therapeutic exercises, stretches, and manual therapies helps to increase blood flow and natural lubrication in the joints.
- Medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers can help in reducing pain on a short-term basis. Talk to your orthopedic doctor about which brands are preferable in your case.
- Heat and cold therapy – Application of a warm compress can relieve muscle spasms, and application of a cold pack can reduce joint pain and swelling.
- Injection therapy – In-office injections of cortisone, administered by your orthopedic doctor, can reliably control joint pain and inflammation.
Joint Replacement Surgeon in Clinton Township, MI
If you have intermittent or chronic joint pain, talk to a medical expert here at Movement Orthopedics. You may warrant joint replacement surgery, or a different treatment might be better for you.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our caring staff today by calling us at (586) 436-3785 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you!