Five Signs That It May Be Time for Joint Replacement

Author

Alicia Delprete, RN, Orthopedic Nurse Navigator

Alicia Delprete, RN, Orthopedic Nurse Navigator

Chronic knee or hip pain can make life miserable. Even when you are in pain every day, it’s not always easy to make the decision to seek joint replacement surgery.

Patients need to carefully weigh the benefits and risks and understand that it will require significant rehabilitation to get you back to a full and active life without the limitations imposed by joint pain.

Below are five common signs that it’s time to have your knee or hip replaced:

  1. Your pain is constant and affecting your ability to do basic activities like walking, climbing stairs, or getting a good night’s sleep.
     
  2. You have tried more conservative treatment to reduce pain—including medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, and other non-surgical approaches—that are no longer working to relieve pain.
     
  3. You have lost weight—which can significantly reduce stress off of your knees—and still don’t feel a difference in your daily pain levels.
     
  4. Your doctor confirms that less invasive surgical procedures are unlikely to help.
     
  5. Diagnostic tests show advanced arthritis or significant joint damage.
     

It’s important to choose a surgeon and a hospital program that has experience in this complex procedure. Your surgeon should have advanced training in joint replacement and operate in a hospital where joint replacements are routinely performed.