Joint problems can be incredibly frustrating — not only does the pain have an impact, but joint problems also place considerable limits on your life. The fact is that 15 million adults in the United States report severe pain due to arthritis, and many more are immobilized by joint pain that develops after an injury or other degenerative conditions. Luckily, there’s hope in the form of joint replacement surgery.
At Chicago Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vasili Karas at the helm, our goal is to restore pain-free movement in our Chicago area patients. Whether your knees or your hips are making every step a painful one, here’s how joint replacement surgery can eliminate the pain and get you back on your feet again.
When it comes to immobility due to joint pain, the knees and hips are the primary culprits. And the problem is only growing worse thanks to an aging population and the weight problem that plagues almost two-thirds of Americans.
As the population is increasingly sidelined by aching joints, many are seeking joint replacement surgery as the best remedy. To put some numbers to this approach, in 2014, there were a little more than 370,000 hip replacements performed and about 680,000 knee replacements. By 2030, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons predicts that these numbers will rise by 171% and 189% respectively, reaching almost two million procedures combined.
The reason behind these growing numbers is twofold: 1) The aging and heavier population we mentioned above, and 2) Quite simply, the joint replacement procedures work.
While the human body does a great job at rebuilding and repairing itself, your joints don’t necessarily benefit from these regenerative efforts. The primary reason behind this is that the lion’s share of joint pain is caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. Your articular cartilage is a material that covers the ends of your bones, allowing them to glide together smoothly inside your joint. With arthritis and normal wear and tear, this soft tissue breaks down, causing inflammation and pain as your bones rub together without protection.
And your cartilage doesn’t contain any blood vessels, which means it’s unable to heal or repair itself.
The problem with severe joint pain is that it traps you in a vicious cycle with no outlet. While losing weight and exercising are two very important keys to remedying joint pain, that same pain and inflammation stands in the way of you being able to accomplish either.
This forces many people into a sedentary lifestyle that only exacerbates the problem.
To regain your mobility, there’s one solution that truly delivers — joint replacement. In a joint replacement procedure, we remove the damaged tissue inside your joint, including the ends of your bones, and replace them with metal parts. Then we provide a plastic spacer for easy gliding, allowing the components of your joint to operate smoothly once again.
And the best news is that with state-of-the-art arthroplastyarthroscopy, we’re able to perform these surgeries with the following benefits:using only small incisions through which we thread specialized instruments and a camera. This technique has many benefits, including:
In fact, more often than not, we’ll have you up and moving within a day or two of your joint replacement surgery.
With a replacement joint in your hip or knee, you’ll regain the freedom of pain-free movement. This will allow you to plug back into your life and better protect yourself against future problems in your joints through exercise.
If you’d like to eliminate your joint pain and get back to your active lifestyle, please give us a call. Or you can use the online scheduling tool on this website to set up an appointment.