Who Is a Candidate for Joint Replacement?

Joint replacement surgery is more common than you might realize. Between 1971 and 2003, the rates of total knee replacement went up by 400%, and total hip replacement rates increased by 44%. 

And it’s not just the elderly receiving joint replacement surgeries. More and more younger adults are getting joint replacement procedures, too. 

While researchers aren’t sure why joint health has been on the decline among both the younger and the elderly in the past few decades, there are a few suspects, including obesity, low-grade inflammation, and a surge in autoimmune diseases.

If you’re among the many Americans who suffer from joint pain, you may be wondering whether it’s time to consider more invasive measures to rid yourself of symptoms. 

We asked our staff at Momentum Physical Therapy who can benefit from joint replacement and what patients should expect after the surgery.

Signs you may need a joint replacement 

Joint replacement involves removing damaged joints and replacing them with prosthetics made of ceramic, metal, or plastic. Joint replacement may be an option for you if you experience any of the following:

The ideal candidate for joint replacement is in overall good health, and doesn’t suffer from any conditions that may impact the outcome of the surgery or the recovery.

Recovery after joint replacement surgery 

Post-operative pain is common due to inflammation and swelling that naturally occurs during the healing process. And although moving is key to building strength and mobility after the surgery, many patients end up inactive due to pain and swelling. 

Depending on your symptoms after the surgery, our staff customizes a recovery program that builds strength and improves your ability to perform everyday activities on your own. 

If pain is your biggest concern, there’s also the option of aquatic therapy, a form of therapy that takes place in a heated pool and uses the water’s buoyancy to help you build stronger muscles while being gentle on your joints.

If you’re considering a joint replacement, or if you’ve already had the surgery scheduled, pre-habilitation will positively affect your outcome.   It is not uncommon for physicians to advise their patients to work with a physical therapist for several weeks before their surgery in order to build as much strength as possible before their operation.  Contact us to schedule an appointment. Our staff can help you get prepared for surgery and work with you post-operatively to have the best functional outcomes.

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