JOINT PAIN RELIEF
In need of a joint replacement or joint repair in San Antonio, TX? Book your consultation at www.socksrocks.com. Dr. Peter Holmes, Double Board- Certified in both Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine will diagnosis your problem and find the right solutions for you.
When you have a joint so swollen and stiff that walking, climbing stairs, taking a bath, getting in and out of chairs, or even sleeping is difficult, you need, not want, to get some arthritis pain relief.
If, with Dr. Holmes’ guidance, you’ve tried the laundry list of non-invasive arthritis treatments — changing your diet and exercise regimens, using walking aids like canes or braces, trying physical therapy, and taking pain medications — and you’re still in a desperate state, allowing the Doctor to perform the joint replacement in San Antonio, TX, may be the best pain relief solution for you.
Benefits to having joint replacement in San Antonio, TX:
- Almost all joint replacement surgeries dramatically improve patients’ lives — offering arthritis pain relief, restored range of motion, and a return to most or all “normal” activities.
- Better technology. In the past, doctors believed that the older you were, the better a candidate you would be for joint replacement surgery. But in recent years, artificial joints, called prostheses, have evolved to the point that they can withstand more stress and wear-and-tear, allowing them to last about 10 to 15 years.
If you are considering having a joint replacement in San Antonio, TX, this procedure should not be taken lightly. While complications occur fewer than 2 percent of the time, there are still risks with joint replacement surgery.
What risks are included with joint replacement?
- Infection. Infection is always a risk with surgery and can occur anytime from immediately after surgery up until years later.
- Blood clots. To prevent blood clots from forming, patients are often given compression stockings to wear post-surgery as well as exercises to do that will promote blood flow. Some patients may be asked to take blood thinners as well.
- Loosening of the new joint. This can cause excess pain that may require additional surgery to fix.
- Dislocation of the new joint. Usually, dislocation can be fixed if the patient wears a special brace. Further surgery is not usually necessary.
- Wear and tear. Nothing stays brand new and some wear and tear on your prosthesis is expected. If the prosthesis becomes loose, however, additional surgery may be necessary.
- Nerve and blood vessel injury. Nerves and/or blood vessels around the replaced joint can be damaged during surgery. This type of damage is rare and often improves on its own over time.
- Joint stiffening. Sometimes the soft tissues around a new joint will harden, which makes it difficult to move. Medications or therapies can help prevent this from happening.
After having your joint replacement in San Antonio, TX, recovery usually takes a month or more and can be painful and time-consuming.
What does joint replacement recovery look like?
Schedule your physical therapy in advance. If Dr. Holmes expects physical therapy (PT) to be part of your rehab, make plans ahead of time to learn where it will take place and how you will get there (since you won’t be able to drive, you will have to find transportation). Accept that physical therapy can be painful.
Plan on using assistive devices. Since most home health equipment is delivered to your house, work with your medical team in advance to make sure they have all the information to make this happen smoothly.
Address other medical issues in advance. Because infection control is a concern with joint replacement, make sure you take care of any dental health issues or bladder and bowel concerns before surgery.
What tests will I have before my joint replacement surgery?
The tests we will need vary somewhat with the patient’s age, health history, and other variables. This preadmission testing will be within 30 days prior to your surgery. Then you will be evaluated and cleared by your Family Doctor (PCP). The tests we require include;
- Physical exam
- Detailed questionnaire
- Blood work …
- Coagulation testing
- Baseline metabolic analysis for kidney, liver, and electrolyte function
- EKG to determine heart health
- Chest XRAY
How long before you can use stairs after joint replacement?
This, of course, depends on which joint you had replaced. Obviously, shoulder replacements don’t need to worry about stairs too much, although firmly holding onto the handrail is a must! Every patient also recovers at different rates, so there is no “normal” timeframe for using stairs.
What will my physical therapy schedule be like?
The average hospital stay for a joint replacement is two days after surgery. While in the hospital, you’ll start physical therapy sessions immediately. The idea is to start moving the joint as soon as possible to keep scar tissue from limiting motion. Once you leave the hospital, you will have outpatient therapy that will last 4 weeks. Outpatient therapy gives the best results, but home therapy is possible.
As you would expect, these schedules vary with the joint replaced and the individual patient.
Do I need someone to be with me full-time when I go home after surgery?
Yes. Every patient should plan on having someone in the house or apartment for at least one full week. We’ll pair you with a case manager, who will make sure your plans for recovery at home are fully thought out and planned. You might need assistance walking, getting to the bathroom, and for various things you’ll need to do such as dressing. This is not the time to be a lone ranger.
What about injectable alternatives to surgery?
There are injectables that can alleviate pain, but these are usually only temporary fixes. Still, they can be used to delay a joint replacement.
- Hyaluronic acid — Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the human body and one of its functions is to lubricate the joints. Injections of hyaluronic acid may help with shock absorption and lubrication, but these will not overcome basic damage within the joint and are no longer recommended by the clinical practice guidelines of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
- Corticosteroids — Steroid injections into the area of inflammation can provide relief for a period of weeks. Dr. Holmes has no limit to the number of injections in cases where total joint replacement is the only other option.
Dr. Peter Holmes and his professional staff at Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery in San Antonio, TX will help guide you towards the best treatment for you and will follow you through to full recovery. Call (210) 696-9000 today for a joint replacement consultation at either our San Antonio or Schertz location.