Severe joint pain that hasn't been relieved by conservative measures and is affecting your daily activities may require surgery. A joint replacement is an excellent option for severe joint damage from osteoarthritis and other chronic conditions.
However, a joint replacement is a significant surgery, and you must understand what to expect before going under the knife. You should ask your surgeon various questions before agreeing to joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Steven J. Svabek and his team are experts in joint replacement surgery. Dr. Svabek is an orthopedic specialist with years of experience performing knee, hip, and shoulder replacements and helps you through every step of the process.
What is a joint replacement?
Osteoarthritis, injury, and wear-and-tear all affect your joint health. As you get older, it's more likely that you'll experience pain in essential joints in your body, such as your knees and hips.
In most cases, you can manage joint pain through conservative measures such as over-the-counter pain medications and physical therapy. Rest and activity modifications can also help, especially in the case of an injury.
However, sometimes joint pain is too much for conservative treatments, continuing to cause discomfort and making everyday activities nearly impossible.
A joint replacement may be the best option if nothing else has reduced your pain and you've longed to regain your life.
During joint replacement surgery, Dr. Svabek makes an incision in your joint and removes the damaged bone and cartilage. After he removes the bad areas of the joint, he cleans it up and measures for a prosthetic.
The prosthetic is made of different materials, including ceramics, surgical plastics, or metal. It mimics the movement and structure of your original joint.
He then places the prosthetic in the joint and secures it with surgical cement and screws to ensure it stays in place.
Critical questions to ask before surgery
Although joint replacement surgery is highly successful for most patients, educating yourself before you decide on surgery is a good idea. There are various questions you can ask Dr. Svabek before agreeing to a joint replacement, including:
Are there any other options?
If you're having extreme pain in your joint that's affecting your daily life, getting rid of the discomfort quickly is critical, but are there other options besides surgery?
Surgery is often the last resort, but if you've tried other conservative measures and are still in severe discomfort, surgery may be the next best option for long-term relief.
Should I wait for surgery?
Some people may wonder if they're too young for surgery, but it may be the right choice if the pain significantly impacts your life. Ask Dr. Svabek if there's any reason you should wait to have joint replacement surgery or if now is the best time.
What can I do before surgery for optimal outcomes?
If you've decided to have joint replacement surgery, you may be wondering if there's anything you can do beforehand to enhance the results after your procedure.
Dr. Svabek can recommend exercises to increase muscle strength, tips to lose weight if needed, and resources to help you quit smoking or drinking alcohol before your procedure.
Are there any risks or complications I should know?
Every surgery has certain risks and complications you should be aware of beforehand. The most common risks are bleeding during the procedure, anesthesia issues, and pain at the surgery site. Infection is also something to consider after a joint replacement.
How do I prepare my house for a joint replacement?
Getting prepped for a joint replacement can make a recovery much more manageable. Dr. Svabek recommends taking specific steps to prepare your home, including making meals and removing fall or trip hazards before you come home from the hospital.
Will I need to do physical therapy?
Physical therapy is one of the most crucial aspects of joint replacement recovery. Dr. Svabek may have you start physical therapy before surgery to ensure you're ready for the work you'll need to do after the procedure to restore motion and flexibility in your joint.
Feel free to ask Dr. Svabek any questions related to joint replacement surgery to ensure you know what to expect and that you're prepared.
If you need a joint replacement, call us at 954-466-9140 to schedule a consultation or request an online appointment at our Coral Springs, Florida office.