More than 10% of people aged 15 and older are affected by osteoarthritis in Canada. The disease can be debilitating, especially when the joints get severely affected.
In many cases, it requires joint replacement surgery, where the damaged joint is replaced with a completely new artificial joint.
Effects of Arthritis on the Joints
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone condition that causes damage to the surface of the bones where two joints are connected.
There is protective cartilage between two joints that provides a cushioning effect, preventing the bones from getting damaged.
Arthritis causes a gradual wearing down of this cartilage, causing it to become stiff and inflexible.
In severe cases, the deterioration of the cartilage can cause extreme pain and damage to the tendons and ligaments, and as well as to the bone itself
Joint Replacement for Arthritis
A typical joint replacement surgery involves using artificial components to replace the damaged joints. Usually, metal plates are used to cover the damaged bones with plastic discs that replace the cartilage to provide maximum cushioning. In some cases, the bones require further alignment, which is also included in total joint replacement surgery.
In most cases, the surgery is extremely effective at reducing pain, delaying and preventing a disability, and improving joint functionality. Because of the high percentage of positive prognoses, the number of knee replacement surgeries in Canada has tripled in the past two decades, whereas hip replacement surgeries have doubled!
Factors to Access before Undergoing Joint Replacement Surgery
The likelihood of requiring joint replacement surgery increases with age, as arthritis becomes severe. Some common factors that might indicate that you are a viable candidate for a joint replacement procedure include:
- Advanced arthritis
- Reduced quality of life due to the painful symptoms associated with osteoarthritis and arthritis.
- Conservative treatments such as physiotherapy and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines don’t provide any relief
- The strength and time to go through the extensive rehabilitation program which follows the joint replacement surgery
Certain joint-related issues and health problems can reduce your chances of successful joint replacement surgery. These include:
- Heart disease
- Poorly-controlled diabetes
- Weak immune system
- Excessive smoking habit
- Previous history of infections related to arthritis
- High cholesterol that can lead to blood clots
While these factors are good indicators to gauge your candidacy for joint replacement surgery, it’s important to always consult with experienced orthopedic doctors who can provide expert guidance on the right treatment and procedures for your condition.
Contact Our Orthopaedic Specialists In The Greater Toronto Area!
Book a consultation with our leading orthopedic specialists in the Greater Toronto area. Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute offers the services of top orthopedic doctors and physiotherapists that can provide expert assessment and prescribe multiple non-surgical treatment options for people with joint problems.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment!