Joint replacement surgery is a life-changing event. It can relieve pain, restore mobility, and improve the quality of your life. However, it’s also a major surgery with a long recovery process. That’s why it’s vital to do your homework and understand what to expect before you undergo the procedure.
Let’s talk about five things you probably didn’t know about joint replacement surgery and where you can go in Columbia, MD, for outstanding joint replacement surgery.
1. There Are Different Types of Joint Replacement Surgery
The most common type is total joint replacement, which involves replacing both the ball and socket of the affected joint. Partial joint replacement is also an option for some patients. This procedure involves replacing only the damaged portion of the joint.
2. Set Realistic Expectations for Joint Replacement Surgery
You need realistic expectations about what joint replacement surgery can and cannot do. The procedure can relieve pain and restore mobility. It can also improve your quality of life and lets you return to activities you enjoy.
You will probably not be able to participate in high-impact activities like football anymore without the high possibility of damaging the joint, but this is a minor inconvenience for the greatly reduced joint pain and greater movability of the new joint.
3. Physical Therapy Is Necessary for Full Healing
Joint replacement surgery is a lengthy process that doesn’t end when you leave the operating room. After the procedure, you’ll need to attend physical therapy to regain strength and mobility.
The recovery process can take several months, and it’s vital to be patient and follow your therapist’s recommendations. Your physical therapy program may include:
- Exercises to improve joint range of motion
- Strengthening exercises
- Balance training
- Future injury prevention
Your therapist will tailor your program to your individual needs and goals.
4. Recovery from Joint Replacement Surgery Takes Time
Most patients need four to six weeks to recover from total joint replacement surgery. Partial joint replacement typically requires a shorter time.
During your recovery, you’ll likely need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing. You may also need assistive devices, like a cane or walker.
You cannot return to your routine right after the surgery. Recovery is also unique for everyone, but it generally includes:
- Initially resting and elevating your joint to reduce swelling
- Gradually increasing your activity level as you heal
- Avoiding strenuous activities, like running and weightlifting
- Attending physical therapy to regain strength and improve range of motion
- Being careful not to put too much stress on your joint
You need to be patient as you recover because you are likely to encounter temporary pain and stiffness in the joint. If you follow your care team’s recommendations, you’ll eventually make a full recovery.
5. Risks Can Be Reduced via Physical Therapy
Joint replacement surgery carries some risks, including:
- Blood clots
- Joint dislocation
What will greatly help to reduce these risks is by following your surgeon’s and physical therapist’s recommendations. This includes continuing to perform the exercises that the therapist teaches you. This will help the joint to stay limber and will foster good circulation in the area, thereby helping to prevent blood clots and other adverse reactions.
Joint Replacement in Columbia, MD
If you are considering a joint replacement, look no further than the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland. Our experienced surgeons provide high-quality orthopedic services in Baltimore and across the state.
You may call our friendly staff at (410) 644-1880 or (855)4MD-BONE (463-2663) to learn about our comprehensive services. You may also use our secure request form to book a visit with a top orthopedic surgeon in Baltimore. We look forward to serving you!