Your joints are designed to last a lifetime. But with wear-and-tear and unexpected injuries, modern medicine allows you to have them replaced. With advanced joint replacement procedures offered by George K. Myo, MD, of Arizona State Orthopaedics, you can restore your joints. Men and women in Chandler, Arizona, who have been through joint replacements with Dr. Myo enjoy a more active and pain-free life.
If you have chronic joint pain, your orthopaedic practitioner starts by ordering an X-ray. This diagnostic test lets him get a glimpse of any damage or scar tissue in your joint.
You might need joint replacement surgery if you have joint damage from:
Because joint replacement surgery is invasive, it's always a last resort. Before surgery, you need to go through several weeks or months of exercise therapy or physical therapy. You may also need to try oral or injectable medications to see if they improve your condition.
After exhausting all possible nonsurgical treatments with no relief, joint replacement surgery is your next step.
Usually, these are minor surgeries, such as a knuckle replacement in your hand. No overnight stay is necessary in such cases.
However, for joints that involve weight-bearing, such as your hip or knee, you may have to stay in the clinic for several days.
Sometimes elderly patients or those who have disabilities also need to spend several weeks in an intermediate care facility. Dr. Myo and his caring team go over expectations long before you ever schedule your surgery.
Dr. Myo wants you to move your joints as soon as possible after surgery. While gentle motions can be painful, they're essential for getting blood to the area and minimizing stiffening.
After you have a hip or knee replacement surgery, expect to start standing or even walking -- with assistance -- the same day of surgery. You'll also start physical therapy a day or two after surgery.
Going through physical therapy minimizes severe muscle weakening and helps you regain joint flexibility. Your dedicated physical therapist guides you through gentle range-of-motion exercises before you start doing intense exercises. In some cases, you may go home with a pulley device to help you extend and stretch your limb.
If you have joint pain, schedule a visit with Dr. Myo at Arizona State Orthopaedics to find out if joint replacement surgery is needed. Scheduling can be done over the phone or online.