Your orthopedic surgeon can make a recommendation one way or the other, but you’ll need to come to your own decision.
The matter boils down to the severity of your hip or knee disability. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, it may be time to consider joint replacement.
Do You Have Significant Hip or Knee Pain?
Pain is subjective — no one else can really know how much hip or knee pain you have. The level of your discomfort plays an important role in your decision about joint replacement.
If you have significant pain on a daily basis, joint replacement could provide you with much-needed relief. Surgery may be a wise bet if your pain doesn’t stop when you rest, or if it keeps you awake at night.
The bottom line? If you feel that you can’t put up with your pain much longer, now may be the right time to talk to your orthopedic surgeon about knee or hip replacement.
Do You Have Problems with Mobility?
How much is your hip or knee disability affecting your daily activities? Serious mobility issues may point to the need for a joint replacement sooner rather than later.
If you’re having a great deal of trouble standing up, walking or bending over, joint replacement could make it easier to move around. The same is true if you feel incredibly stiff, to the point where straightening or lifting your leg is next to impossible.
When you find yourself avoiding minor activities or needing help with common daily tasks, it may be time to schedule joint replacement.
Are Conservative Treatments No Longer Helping?
Surgery is almost never the first line of treatment for knee and hip problems. Have you already tried all of the recommended conservative options?
Conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medication, splinting and corticosteroid injections can help relieve pain and restore mobility, at least for a while. Down the line, however, these measures may not be as effective.
If the conservative approach is no longer working, you may want to schedule joint replacement sooner rather than later.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Schedule Knee or Hip Replacement
The timing of your surgery can have an impact on the outcome. Studies show that patients who are healthier and have less joint tissue deterioration may have better results from hip or knee replacement than patients with significant functional decline.
Need some expert advice on when to plan for surgery? Dr. Trevor Magee at Comprehensive Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is one of Utah’s leading robotic-assisted joint surgeons. To schedule a professional consultation to discuss knee or hip replacement, contact our Salt Lake City, Sandy or Park City office today.