Hip & Knee
The knee and hip joints on the human body take a tremendous toll. They receive the most abuse from enabling the human body to propel itself down the road. Impact from concrete into the knee joints and hip joints can over time damage the joint, causing excruciating pain.
The fact that half of Americans are classified as “overweight” and 25% are technically “obese” merely adds to the prevalence of joint agony.
For example, if you have knee pain, rest assured you are far from alone. Each year 6 million Americans seek medical help for painful knees. This translates into 2.5 percent of the U.S. population sitting in doctors’ offices for relief of knee pain. Even more self-diagnose and treat themselves with pills and home remedies.
Aside from self destructive damage to knees and hips for weight and impact trauma, Mother Nature also deals out some bad cards in the form of the disease call arthritis. This joint disease pits out the surfaces of the joints, preventing pain-free movement. It’s estimated that about 32 million Americans visit their physician for having some form of arthritis. That’s about one in 10 Americans suffering from some form of arthritis pain.
The joint replacement surgeons at OrthoWilmington (locations in Wilmington, Porters Neck, Brunswick Forest and Jacksonville) will typically try to exhaust all non-surgical treatment options to see if your symptoms can disappear. This is an important step — FOR YOUR BENEFIT. The surgeon who jumps to quickly to proposing joint replacement for you could be sentencing you to a wheelchair in 15 to 20 years.
Hip & Knee Physicians
About Hip & Knee Problems
While knee problems can relate to abuse from trauma and weight, hip pain sadly is often just a common problem as a person ages, as the hip joint becoming arthritic. The hip, essentially a ball and socket joint, can work very efficiently for a lifetime, provide the ball and socket don’t degrade or the surfaces become pitted. When that happens, the sensation is much like metal on metal friction, where the notion of walking is excruciating painful.
Thankfully, over the past 30 years, knee replacement and hip replacement have become a very reliable procedure, as orthopedic surgeons have continually revised and improved on the procedure.
But while the procedure has become commonplace, Americans are misguided in thinking that joint replacement is quick fix for joint pain, because it’s more complicated than that.
For an orthopedic surgeon to recommend a knee replacement, the pain and extent of a person’s disability must be severe. A good surgeon will be honest about the limitations of the artificial new joint and will try to delay the procedure for as long as possible, since the life span of an artificial joint is limited to about 15 or 20 years max. After that point, the surgery must be repeated to replace metal parts. And typically, a person can only have one redo because of the way the surgery is performed.
Most surgeons are reluctant to implant an artificial knee much before sixty years of age. The longer the initial surgery may be delayed, the better. However, there are some with rheumatoid arthritis or joints damaged badly from trauma who may need joint replacement surgery so they can continue with their lives.
There are some preparations a patient can and should do BEFORE joint replacement surgery is performed. Patients who are extremely overweight, for example, place undue demands upon a knee — especially a new artificial joint.
A person with this condition will more quickly destroy the implanted knee than someone of appropriate weight for their height. Consequently, a physician might recommend a weight loss program beforehand so the articificial joint isn’t damaged after surgery.
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