Jan 18, 2021

Have You Been Putting Off Joint Replacement Surgery? Know the Risks

By Brooke Marshall | Healthy Living.

There are several reasons you may be putting off joint surgery. You may be hoping the pain will resolve on its own, or you hope to reduce pain through medication or physical therapy. Some people are having to put off surgeries due to COVID. And while the good news is that a short delay will likely not be problematic, putting off surgery long-term could cause problems.
Here are some of the reasons that delaying joint replacement surgery could be a bad idea.

Increased Joint Stiffness

In people with arthritis, joints lose more and more of their mobility as arthritis progresses. Over time, this can cause stiffness. And in certain joints like the knee, this stiffness can make it difficult to walk. Usually surgery is needed to restore mobility to the joint.

Decreased Muscle Strength

As mobility decreases and pain increases, the muscles around the joint do not get used as much, causing them to weaken. The longer these muscles go without being used adequately, the harder it will be to regain their strength even after surgery.

Joint Deformity

One effect of arthritis can be joint deformity. If left untreated, this deformity can grow worse, making surgery more complicated and causing other problem such as increased pain or loss of mobility. In order to operate on a deformed joint, a surgeon may need to be more invasive which will also result in a longer recovery time.

Related Injuries

Often, when people experience pain or loss of mobility in one part of the body, they compensate by putting more stress on other parts of the body. This means that if a person is experiencing pain in their knee, they may end up overexerting their hip or back as a result. This overexertion can lead to more pain or injury of another body part. For this reason, it is best to treat the original problem sooner rather than later in order to avoid other injuries or issues.
Each person's needs when it comes to joint surgery will be a bit different. Talk to your doctor about what treatment plan timeline is best for your individual situation.

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