Women, Arthritis and Joint Replacement
When a woman ages, she generally thinks about the outward physical consequences – wrinkled skin, gray hair, etc. However, along with appearance, our joints tend to wear down as well. Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States and 60 percent of arthritis sufferers are women. Arthritis pain can vary from minimal to extreme, and options for pain relief include conservative therapy (such as physical therapy or medication) or surgery. When these therapies do not work, joint replacement is the most frequent surgical option. The knees and the hips are the most commonly replaced joints.
Joint replacement is the surgical replacement of the existing joint with an artificial prosthesis. Almost all joint replacement surgeries are performed because of arthritis – which causes normal daily activities to become painful and difficult. Since the demand for joint replacements are more common for women, before you start browsing for a new hip or knee, there are few questions you need to ask yourself:
- What activities do I wish to do again?
- Is arthritis a daily burden that limits activities, or something that just bothers me periodically?
- How prepared am I to be actively involved in my recovery?
If your lifestyle starts to change due to pain or issues with your joints, and you can no longer enjoy daily activities, it may be the right time to begin thinking about joint replacement surgery.
After knee or hip surgery, patients are encouraged to stand and begin to walk the day of surgery. Most patients will be able to go home after three days. However, for the elderly or those with additional disabilities, patients may need to spend several days to a week in a rehabilitation unit or a skilled nursing facility before going home. Physical therapy is essential –it helps strengthen the muscles around the new joint and to help you regain motion.
Crozer-Keystone understands that clinical expertise, compassionate care, a comfortable environment and family-centered support are key elements to a successful joint replacement experience and outcome. That’s why we have created a new program at Springfield Hospital that is dedicated to providing the most advanced hip and knee joint replacement care in a home-like environment. We provide a coordinated and personalized experience to help get you back to full mobility as quickly and pain-free as possible. We take the time to educate both you and your family so that you’ll understand all aspects of the joint replacement process and be aware of what is to be expected along the way.
For more information about Crozer-Keystone’s orthopedic services at Springfield Hospital or to schedule a consultation, visit http://jointcenter.crozerkeystone.org or call 1-855-CK-JOINT (1-855-255-6468).