The aim of having a joint replaced is to relieve the severe pain and restricted movement that accompanies the deterioration of a weight bearing joint, most commonly as a result of osteoarthritis. Joint replacement operations are very effective for most people with severe osteoarthritis however any surgery poses risks so a replacement should be considered only when other non-surgical treatments e.g. weight loss, exercise, medications, etc. no longer bring sufficient relief.
There are some key factors which your surgeon will take into account when assessing the need to go ahead with surgery:
- How severe the pain is, and in particular whether it is causing disturbed sleep
- Whether the deterioration of the joint is limiting daily activities or the ability to look after one’s self
- Whether the pain and immobility is affecting the psychological wellbeing of the patient or of a carer
- What economic impact is being felt by the patient & their family
- Any recent and rapid deterioration in mobility or function