We take the joints in our bodies for granted. They help us bend, move, and work. But as we age, they can start to wear out from the effects of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and traumatic injuries such as fractures or dislocations.
At any age, but more common after 50, the hip, knee, shoulder, ankle, and elbow joints begin to show signs of wear and tear. When they reach the point where bone is rubbing against bone, patients experience daily and sometimes constant pain. Motion is limited, and even routine daily activities, such as walking, going up and down stairs, and bending over to put on shoes can be difficult.
When surgery is the solution, people with joint pain should explore the options for their care and recovery. For the best results, it is important to choose the right surgeon and medical center. Valley Medical Center’s unique Joint Center, for example, emphasizes patient education and advance preparation before surgery so patients know what to expect and have everything ready for their recovery at home. This eases patients’ anxiety and ensures the best possible outcome for joint replacement.
Our care before and after surgery follows high standards of quality for all patients, while recovery is tailored to individual needs. After surgery, specialized nurses and therapists guide the recovery, encouraging the involvement of patients and their families during the return to wellness. After an overnight stay, most patients are on their way, heading home to continue the recovery process.
A common question is, “Will I have pain after surgery?” All surgery involves some pain, but joint replacement pain rapidly resolves and the arthritic pain will be gone. Doctors at The Joint Center have a state-of-the-art pain management program to help patients during their hospital stay. By the time patients go home, the pain will have improved significantly.
Patients often want to know what they should expect following recovery from joint replacement surgery. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Pain relief
- Improved mobility and independence
- Return to recreational activities, such as walking, biking, hiking, swimming, golfing and dancing
- A sense of wellness
Since opening The Joint Center in April 2000, we have performed thousands of joint replacement surgeries. From this experience, we have discovered some keys to success:
- Well-informed patients and family
- Patients and family motivated to take advantage of all the benefits of their surgical procedure
- A highly coordinated, specialized, and well-trained staff to assist in the recovery process
- A network of support after discharge, including family and friends, visiting nurse services, and therapists