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When is it Time for Joint Replacement?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately one million Americans get joint replacement each year for one simple reason — they’re sick of pain.

Because pain affects everyone differently, deciding on whether surgery is the right option for you isn’t always an easy choice.

Non-surgical Treatment Options for Joint Pain

Knee ReplacementPeople who undergo joint replacement usually experience pain for around five years before opting for surgery. Before deciding on surgery, orthopaedic surgeons usually recommend a variety of non-surgical treatments to help manage knee, hip, or shoulder pain, including:

  • Over-the-counter medications. Common medications are aspirin-free pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, disease modifiers, and sleep medications
  • Heat/cold therapies. Using heat or cold on the joints can provide short-term relief for stiffness and pai
    n. Which therapy you use depends on the type of pain you’re experiencing.
  • Weight management. Extra weight can put even more stress on your joints. Being a healthy weight can help provide some relief and limit the strain on the joints.
  • Injections. Injections can be used to provide temporary pain relief for people suffering from joint pain.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapists can help patients come up with an exercise and treatment plan to manage pain.
  • Light exercise. Low-impact exercise can help people with joint pain improve their strength and flexibility.

When is Joint Replacement the Answer?

Rushing into joint replacement surgery can result in even more pain and other complications such as blood clots. It’s important to carefully evaluate the pros and cons before joint replacement surgery. If you’ve tried multiple non-surgical treatments, Dr. Fuchs will start leaning towards joint replacement — but how will you know for sure whether it’s the right choice?

When the pain becomes unbearable, you’ll know it’s time to schedule an appointment at our Kirkland orthpaedic office. Our trained orthopaedic surgeon will give you the advice and care you’ll need before, during, and after surgery.

Contact Dr. Fuchs at (425) 823-4000 or schedule an appointment online to discuss treatment options to resolve your joint pain.

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