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Joint Replacement: When Can it Help?

If you’re suffering from joint pain and wondering whether a joint replacement surgery could help, you’re in good company. About 1 million Americans elect to have joint replacement surgery each year, making joint replacements one of the most common elective surgeries in the country. 

While the idea of having a joint replaced might be scary, modern-day joint replacement surgeries are safe and can offer tremendous relief. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 90% of patients experience pain relief after their replacement surgery.

At Performance Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, board-certified orthopedic surgeon David Dickerson, MD, is dedicated to helping the men and women of Wall Township, Toms River, and Shrewsbury, New Jersey, find joint pain relief. Dr. Dickerson specializes in joint reconstruction and other methods of treating and managing joint injuries and disease. 

To better understand when a joint replacement might help your condition, we’ve curated this informative guide. Read on to learn more!

Signs a joint replacement can help

While a comprehensive exam with Dr. Dickerson is the best way to know whether a joint replacement can help your condition, there are signs to look for that indicate one might be in your future. Here are the top signs that a joint replacement might be the right choice:

Disrupted lifestyle

Everyone experiences a few aches and pains now and then — especially as we get older. But if pain in your joints is keeping you from completing your daily activities or makes even simple tasks like getting dressed, bending over, or walking to the kitchen difficult, you may be a good candidate for a joint replacement. 

Severe pain

If you’ve been taking medication and resting your aching joints but can’t find relief and are even waking up at night due to joint pain, it may be time to consider a joint replacement. Severe pain is a sign of significant joint damage, and it’s important to contact Dr. Dickerson as soon as possible to prevent further damage. 

Presence of joint disease

While joint replacement surgery is needed as the result of injury, most times the procedure is the result of advancing joint disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or another joint disease, talk to Dr. Dickerson about whether joint replacement surgery can help. 

Other treatments aren’t working

Joint replacement surgery is typically the last treatment option, used with other, more conservative treatments don’t provide you with relief. If pain medications, physical therapy, rest, or other conservative treatments haven’t worked, joint replacement surgery may be the solution you need. 

Deciding about joint replacement

If you want to learn more joint pain and whether it could help your condition, it’s best to schedule an evaluation with an experienced orthopedic doctor, like Dr. Dickerson and the team at Performance Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.  

After your initial consultation, Dr. Dickerson determines if a partial or total joint replacement could be helpful based on your unique symptoms and needs. The decision to replace a joint is based on several factors, including:

The most common joint replacements include hips and knees, however other joints, including the shoulder, ankle, and elbow, can also be replaced. Dr. Dickerson only recommends a joint replacement when more conservative therapies aren’t successful. 

During your surgery, Dr. Dickerson removes the damaged or diseased parts of the joint and replaces it with new, surgical-grade parts. Most joint replacement surgeries only require a few hours, and you will be encouraged to start moving soon after your procedure, though full recovery takes a few months.

If joint pain is negatively impacting your life, join the millions of men and women who are living pain-free after joint replacement surgery. To learn if this procedure can help you, contact the Performance Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine office nearest you to set up a consultation today!

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