Over one million joint replacement operations occur annually in the United States, and that number may climb as high as four million in the next eight years. Regarded as one of the most successful therapies in modern medicine, joint replacements successfully relieve pain and restore mobility in joints that are otherwise seriously deteriorated.
When you’re faced with joint issues, consult with the joint replacement experts at Bahri Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Surgery isn’t the only answer for chronic joint pain and mobility loss, and we’ll advise you of all your options. Start the process with an examination.
Reasons why you might need joint replacement
When joint pain and mobility loss interfere with your ability to function and enjoy life, the reasons why you’re suffering may not seem as important as finding a solution. Chances are, though, that your joint deterioration may be due to some form of arthritis.
Though there are over 100 types of arthritis, the most common is osteoarthritis which often results simply from the wear and tear that occurs in everyday life. If you’ve had a joint injury, the process may be accelerated, affecting you at a younger age.
How osteoarthritis affects a joint
Though injuries and other types of disease can affect your joints, replacement becomes an option when joint degeneration advances to the point where you have bone-on-bone contact. Let’s look at how this occurs for people with osteoarthritis.
Wear starts to show in the cartilage, the slippery, protective tissue layer that covers bone ends where they meet at a joint. As cartilage breaks down, bone surfaces become exposed. With enough erosion of the cartilage surface, bones can come into contact. When this contact occurs, pain and mobility problems start to dominate.
Trouble spots in the hips and knees
The most common joints for replacement are the knees and the hips. Since these joints work together and absorb many of the same stresses, you can experience damage in both places. The most common joint replacement for the upper body is the shoulders, though knees and hips dominate in numbers.
It’s possible to have joint replacements in other places, including the fingers, wrist, ankles, and elbows, though these are much less common.
Common symptoms of joint degeneration
There are symptoms common to degenerating joints and could be signs that you’re approaching the point where a joint replacement becomes necessary. These symptoms include:
- Pain that may be constant or hurting during or after movement
- Reduced joint range of motion
- Stiffness after periods of rest
- Swelling due to soft tissue inflammation
- Tenderness when touching the joint
- Grinding, grating, cracking, or popping as you move the joint
- Formation of bone spurs around the joint
You may have other joint-specific symptoms, such as a limp if the problem is with your knees or hips.
Get past the pain and limitations of degenerating joints. Request a consultation by phone or online at the most convenient office of Bahri Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clinic today.