By Fox Valley Orthopedics
While pushing through every day aches and pains is common, chronic joint pain can impact every aspect of a person’s quality of life. If dealing with such everyday tasks as climbing stairs, sitting or walking causes pain, it might be time to consider joint replacement surgery for long-lasting relief.
How To Describe Pain To A Doctor
When suffering from chronic and persistent joint pain, it is essential to describe pain accurately when seeking treatment. Effectively communicate the location, sensation, and severity of pain.
When a physician asks a patient to rate pain on a scale of 1 to 10, try to give more details than just a number. For example, “feeling a sharp pain in the hip area while walking” may have a different cause than “a dull, persistent pain radiating in hip and lower back”. Some commonly used words to describe pain include:
When describing pain, use directional adjectives like:
Planning Ahead of Surgery – In the weeks prior to surgery, physical therapy and exercise are the best ways to strengthen and prepare surrounding muscles. Eating healthy is also important for proper healing.
Patients may need preoperative medical clearance and lab work prior to surgery. This may include a chest x-ray, EKG, blood work and urinalysis. Medications will also be reviewed, and other instructions given. Insurance preauthorization is also necessary.
Day of Surgery – Each physician has specific instructions for patients to follow, often including:
- No eating or drinking after a specific time of day
- What medications can be taken that morning
- Bathe or shower
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and do not wear makeup or jewelry
- Dentures, contact lenses or eyeglasses need to be removed
- Arrive early, and bring insurance card, ID card, and copy of Advanced Directives
Aftercare To Support A Speedy Recovery – The best thing a person can do following joint replacement surgery is to rest. While it can be tempting to return to a routine as soon as possible, it’s recommended that some time should be taken off to give a person’s body a chance to rest without interruptions.
Because a person’s body does most of its healing when asleep, getting more rest than usually will allow the body to recover quickly. Aim to get the recommended 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night and take short naps throughout the day.
After having a total hip replacement, it’s important to use proper sleeping techniques to help avoid complications with the healing process such as a dislocation or leg blood clots. Follow these sleep tips to ensure a speedy recovery:
- Avoid stomach-sleeping
- Avoid crossing legs or ankles
- Sleep on non-operative side
- Sleep with a pillow between knees
- Sleep on a firm mattress, if possible
After a joint replacement, muscle stiffness around the affected area may occur. Heating pads to reduce muscle tension may help to improve range of motion. It’s also common to experience inflammation surrounding the surgical site after a procedure. Applying ice can help to reduce uncomfortable swelling.
Try to Move About – Following the procedure, it’s important to get up and move. This improves blood flow, which helps the surgical site to heal. While it is advised to take it easy and follow the aftercare instruction outlined by a physician, getting up and walking around once every hour can help recovery.
What Joints Can Be Replaced? Joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which damaged pieces of a joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthetic. The prosthesis is specifically designed to replicate the function of a healthy joint.
Although joint replacements are fairly common orthopedic procedures, many only think of knee or hip replacements. However, various joints throughout the body can be replaced.
Benefits of Joint Replacement – For most people who have an arthritic condition or suffer from extensive joint damage, having a joint replacement can help them to find some much-needed relief. Like most orthopedic health issues, joint damage brings on persistent chronic pain that can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.
With advancements in surgical procedures, having a joint replacement can help to:
- Alleviate persistent pain
- Improve mobility
- Increase flexibility
- Support healthy joint function
- Restore a sense of independence
- Decrease the need to rely on pain medication
Joints That Can Be Replaced – While many people think of major joints like the hip or knee when it comes to joint replacement surgery, other joints can be replaced too. This includes:
Fox Valley Orthopedics Welcomes New Joint Surgeon
Fox Valley Orthopedics has announced that Kenneth Chakour, M.D., has joined their team of physicians. Dr. Chakour is a board certified, fellowship trained total joint orthopedic surgeon who treats adults and children. He is currently accepting new patients at Fox Valley Orthopedics’ Algonquin, Barrington, Elgin and Geneva locations.
Dr. Chakour specializes in minimally invasive primary joint replacement, anterior hip replacement, complex primary and revision joint replacement, and robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery. He is a leading expert in diagnosing and treating hip and knee injuries, such as osteoarthritis, post traumatic arthritis and hip dysplasia.
Dr. Chakour received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and completed his residency at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago. He is a Fellow the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, and member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.
For more information on Dr. Chakour, visit fvortho.com/Chakour or call 630-584-1400 to make an appointment.
Fox Valley Orthopedics (FVO) provides complete orthopedic care, including sports medicine, spine, total joints, hand and wrist, foot and ankle, pain management and rheumatology. All FVO surgeons are board certified or board eligible and fellowship-trained, and have received additional training in their specific area of expertise. FVO’s Ambulatory Surgery Center and in-house imaging also provide cost-effective convenient care, as well as OrthoFirst, FVO’s urgent walk-in clinic. Fox Valley Orthopedics is a state-of-the-art, state-licensed facility, and is accredited by the AAAHC – Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. Life is too short to be limited by pain … call today at (630) 584-1400, or visit FVOrtho.com.