Information for patients: How do you know it's time for joint replacement surgery?
Jeffrey T. Nugent, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, says that if you are experiencing any of the following signs, you should speak to your rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon about the possibility of joint replacement:
are unable to sleep at night because of the pain
- you've tried a series
of different medications that don't help alleviate the pain, or the medication
you have been on no longer works
- you feel that the pain from your arthritis
is keeping you from regular outings, such as visiting friends, going shopping
or taking a vacation
- your activity is restricted to the point where
you have trouble getting out of a chair, going up stairs, getting off the
toilet, or getting up from the floor.
From "All You Need to Know About
Joint Surgery," (c)
2002, Arthritis Foundation
What to Ask the Surgeon
Here are some questions
to ask your surgeon about joint replacement:
- What makes someone a good
candidate for joint surgery?
- What are the risks involved in joint
there be any other non-surgical treatments I haven't yet tried that would
ease my pain and help me move more easily?
- How would surgery help
my particular problem?
- What would not change after the operation?
long is the recovery process?
- What is involved in the recovery process?
type of procedure would you recommend for me?
- How often in the past
year have you performed this operation?
- Can you tell me what the
outcome (decreased pain, improved function) has been for most of these
you provide the names of several people I could contact to discuss their
experiences with surgery?
From "All You Need to Know About Joint Surgery," (c) 2002, Arthritis Foundation