If you suffer from osteoarthritis, you are surely aware that you will need to replace your joint with an artificial one sooner or later. Most of the patients wonder when it is the right time for this step. The answer to this question is exclusively up to them.
You should first exhaust all less invasive options
Almost half of the arthritis patients are affected by osteoarthritis- mechanical damage and deformation of the joint. Joint replacement is by no means a routine procedure you should opt for easily; ask yourself if you had really exhausted all other options.
- Intensive workout with physiotherapist help will strengthen leg muscles and ligaments. This could significantly ease the pain you feel in your knees and hips. Keeping up your muscle tonus with exercise should be the first option when your joints start hurting. Even if you decide on joint replacement, it is advisable to strengthen your leg muscles as much as possible prior to surgery in order for your recovery to be as easy as possible.
- Dietary supplements that contain chondroitin–sulfate and glucosamine-sulfate could significantly ease your mobility because these substances stimulate cartilage renewal and restore ligaments’ elasticity.
- If you can’t control your knee pain by taking analgesics, a specialist will most likely recommend hyaluronic acid injections. These are injected once a week directly into the joint for three or five weeks in a row. You will be able to feel the full effect of this treatment in about five week’s time. Research has shown that these injections additionally “lubricate” the joint long-term, significantly ease the pain and increase joint mobility range.
- Recent medical advancements have made it possible to treat osteoarthritis and renew degenerated cartilage by injecting stem cells into the arthritis-affected joint. Stem cells are taken from subcutaneous tissue and injected into the joint where they turn into cartilage cells. This procedure has shown very good results. Cartilage which has not been completely damaged is usually restored very fast and the joint regains its normal shape and function.
When is surgery the best option?
It is advisable to wait with the joint replacement until the cartilage no longer covers the end of joint bones in some places. When one joint bone starts touching the other, causing pain, it is time to seriously consider surgery. This normally causes increasing pain intensity and it often interferes with your normal way of life and quality of sleep.
When cartilage doesn’t cover joint bones in all places, we are more prone to injuries and joint dislocation; this is another reason why this is the right time to undergo joint replacement surgery. Make sure to book the thermal rehabilitation center where you will start rehabilitating immediately after you are released from the hospital. Rehabilitation is most effective when started shortly after the surgery. If you don’t do this, your recovery might be very long and painful.