Joint pain occurs for many reasons, including injury, age, and arthritis. Orthopedic doctors examine patients and perform tests to find the cause of the pain. The solution has a lot to do with what’s going on in the joint. Imaging procedures are used to point the doctor in the right direction. Fortunately, new procedures are discovered all the time to help ease the patient’s pain.
1. Hip Replacement
One of the tools available for orthopedic surgeons is Joint Replacement Surgery. Hip replacement is one of the most common surgeries performed today. The downside of a joint replacement is pain and the recovery period. However, the procedure is necessary for many patients. The surgery is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. The surgeon removes the diseased and damaged bone. Next, a prosthetic socket goes into the pelvic bone to replace the damaged socket. Finally, a prosthetic device is implanted to replace the round ball on top of the femur. The recovery period lasts several months.
Many patients are not prepared for one of the major side effects of joint replacement. Patients find their emotions take a roller coaster ride. Indeed, experts say the trauma of surgery can be compared to PTSD. Patients can’t help but feel helpless because they can’t move around a lot. Surgeons advise patients to have a companion stay with them during the early recovery period.
2. Cartilage Transplant
Amazingly, scientists developed ways to use a person’s cartilage to help repair aching knees. Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) relieves pain and restores function. Patients are examined and tested if the doctor thinks ACI will work for them. A small piece of healthy cartilage from the patient’s knee is frozen and sent to a special laboratory. Cells are expanded and seeded onto a resorbable cartilage membrane. Surgery is scheduled for the patient, and the cartilage implant is placed over the damaged tissue. New cartilage starts growing within six months. So far, this procedure has only been performed on the knee.
Patients must stay immobile for the first few days after the procedure. Afterward, they start a special ACI rehab program. Testimonials indicate patients recover quickly and are back to a regular routine in a few months. Patients even boast about being able to run, hike, and jump again.
4. Ligament Reconstruction
Ligaments and tendons in the ankle may need to be restored. Some parts of the body weaken from simple wear and tear. Ligaments restrict the ankle joint’s movements. The ankle can be damaged when ligaments are stretched or torn. The surgeon may attempt to repair ligaments by reattaching them to the bone with a small anchor. Doctors attempt to reconstruct ligaments if the repair fails.
Ligament reconstruction surgery involves replacing the damaged ligament with a tendon. Surgeons often choose the peroneus brevis tendon. This tendon pulls the outside of the foot upwards. The surgeon guides the peroneus brevis through the ankle bones to strengthen the ankle. Patients cannot bear weight for about ten days. Further, a plaster cast is worn below the knee. Physical therapy helps people get back to normal quickly.
Joint pain is a major concern for thousands of patients. Something must be done to relieve the pain and get people moving again. There are many surgical procedures available, and some are more invasive than others. See an orthopedic surgeon and they’ll advise the best option for you.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.