A New Knee Could Lead to a Happy Healthy Heart
I know what you might be thinking… what does my heart have to do with my knees?
When people live with bone and joint pain, their overall health can often deteriorate. If someone loves playing basketball or golf, but their knee hurts for days after playing – they often stop playing. This leads to less or no activity due to pain and eventually a person’s overall health, including their heart, may begin to diminish from inactivity.
Although arthritis is the leading cause of orthopedic related conditions, excess weight is often a factor in the need for a new joint. By relieving the stress on the joints, sometimes replacement can be avoided altogether. A patient may not need to lose weight only to relieve the joints, but also in order to have a safer surgery if joint replacement is the right option. Having excess weight during surgery can lead to a higher risk of complications.
Losing weight is a difficult thing to overcome, but there are medical professionals available to help assist you with that part of the process. Once a person has attempted all of the non-surgical options available to relieve bone or joint pain, including weight loss if needed, a joint replacement may be considered.
Joint replacements have become a very common procedure. Knee replacement is the most common surgery across the country at over 700,000 annually. Approximately 10% of knee replacements need to be repeated after 15 – 20 years, but for a majority of people the replacement lasts a lifetime.
This frequency means that the surgical process has become more streamlined and safer, with advances also taking place in the components available. The actual joints that are being used now are lighter and stronger than they were even ten years ago.
The right time to have a joint replacement really depends on the age of the patient, their quality of life and amount of pain they are enduring. A knee replacement is an excellent option for people living with knee pain to get back to enjoying a healthy lifestyle.
Kelly Instrum, MD is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with Holyoke Medical Center Orthopedic Center, 10 Hospital Drive, Suite 203, Holyoke – (413) 536-5814.
To learn more about the Weight Management Program at Holyoke Medical Center, register for one of the upcoming information sessions online at www.HolyokeHealth.com/Events or call 413-535-4757.