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Life in Motion

Deciding When It’s Time for a Joint Replacement

Joint Health

Joint replacement surgery, although extremely effective at relieving pain and restoring function, is a major surgery and knowing the right time to have it can be difficult. Eric Smith, MD, FAOA, Chief of Arthroplasty at NEBH, explains that many factors can affect the appropriate time for surgery. This decision is a highly individual one, and it’s important to have shared decision-making between you and your surgeon. Shared decision making can help you evaluate all available options—weigh your personal values, goals and priorities against unbiased medical evidence—in order to make an informed decision.

A few questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Have tests showed advanced arthritis/joint damage?
  • Have you tried non-surgical therapies (medication, physical therapy, etc.) with no relief?
  • Is pain, stiffness, or limited movement interfering with your quality of life?
  • Does the pain keep you awake at night?
  • Can you no longer enjoy the activities you used to?

If you are considering a joint replacement, talk to your surgeon about the best treatment option for you.

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