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Deciding to have knee or hip replacement

There are many ways to help decide to have knee or hip replacement surgery or not. These may include reading about the operation and talking to others with knee or hip problems.

A key step is talking to your health care provider about your quality of life and goals for surgery.

Surgery may or may not be the right choice for you. Only careful thought can help you make a decision.

The most common reason to have a knee or hip replaced is to provide relief from severe arthritis pain that limits your activities. Your provider may recommend replacement surgery when:

Some people are more willing to accept the limits knee or hip pain places on them. They will wait until the problems are more severe. Others will want to have joint replacement surgery in order to continue with sports and other activities they enjoy.

Knee or hip replacements are most often done in people who are 60 and older. However, many people who have this surgery are younger. When a knee or hip replacement is done, the new joint may wear out over time. This is more likely to occur in people with more active lifestyles or in those who will likely live longer after surgery. Unfortunately, if a second joint replacement is needed in the future, it may not work as well as the first.

Is There any Harm in Waiting?

For the most part, knee and hip replacement are elective procedures. This means these surgeries are done to provide relief for your pain, not for any other medical reason.

In most cases, delaying surgery should not make joint replacement less effective if you choose to have it in the future. In some cases, the provider may strongly recommend surgery if deformity or extreme wear and tear on the joint affects other parts of your body.

Also, if pain is preventing you from moving around well, the muscles around your joints may become weaker and your bones may become thinner. This may affect your recovery time if you have surgery at a later date.

Why you may not be Able to Have Replacement Surgery

Your provider may recommend against knee or hip replacement surgery if you have any of the following:

References
  • Harkess JW, Crockarell JR. Arthroplasty of the hip In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds.Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 3.
  • Mihalk WM. Arthroplasty of the knee. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 7.
  • http://hendrick-medical.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=117&isArticleLink=false&pid=60&gid=000368

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Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all

Andrew and Jane Stewart
17.04.2017