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Q&A: Is it time for joint replacement?

My knee hurts constantly, but I feel like I am too young for joint replacement. Does age matter?

Experts used to advise that you put off considering a total joint replacement until you are well into your golden years. This was due to the idea that the replaced joint could wear out before you do. Today, this way of thinking is no longer the norm.

You are a candidate for total joint replacement if you have joint pain day and night, if it interferes with daily activities, if it causes a decreased tolerance for walking, and if the medications used to manage it are no longer effective. Quality of life is what matters.

Recovery and success

Besides the actual surgery, recovery time is another consideration. The rate of recovery depends on the joint. With hip replacement, more than 90 percent of patients report improvement, and it has less recovery time than other joint replacements. With knee replacement, about 85 to 90 percent of patients report success.

Shoulders and ankles can also be considered for total joint replacement.

Joint replacement, at the appropriate time, gets people back to work and improves their quality of life.

Learn more about joint replacement and local resources.

This healthy living tip courtesy of Michael Fleischman, DO

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