HEALTH Matters® Blog

When Is the Right Time to Get Joint Replacement Surgery?

POSTED BY Dr. Isaac Livshetz, Orthopedic Surgeon
February 15, 2021  
An orthopedic surgeon offers hope and help for those suffering from chronic pain from degeneration of the hip or knee.


It is estimated that more than 27 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, which is the breakdown of cartilage and bone in the joint. This typically occurs with age but can also be related to sports and overuse, especially in younger people.

Some patients are able to effectively manage the pain and stiffness by incorporating a combination of exercise, medication, and targeted injections to relieve inflammation of the joints and to strengthen the supporting muscles. When these methods no longer offer relief, it may be time to talk to an orthopedic specialist about joint replacement surgery.

Hip and knee replacement is one of the most commonly performed elective surgeries today. The surgery involves removing the damaged cartilage and bone, and replacing them with durable metal, plastic and ceramic implants to strengthen the joint. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 400,000 hip and 700,000 knee replacements are performed every year.

Timing is everything when making the decision to have joint replacement surgery.

A recent study in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery found that 90% of people suffering from osteoarthritis wait too long to have knee replacement surgery. This can hinder one’s ability to bounce back as quickly and with the best possible results. Also, people who are unable to maintain an active lifestyle due to hip or knee pain are at higher risk for conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as weakening of their muscles.

Today, advanced technology such as the MAKO Robotic Arm-Assisted System used at White Plains Hospital, has been a game-changer for many people who are on the fence about surgery. Robotics allow surgeons to perform extremely precise total and partial knee replacement as well as hip replacements, offering patients less pain and faster recovery times. Additionally, research indicates that most implants used today are still functioning well at 20 years, making surgery at a younger age a more effective option.

How to know when to take the next step toward surgery?

Your X-rays show significant joint damage

You avoid doing the activities you enjoy

You’ve tried everything, but nothing relieves the pain

Your quality of life has deteriorated

No one should have to suffer from chronic pain. Talk to your doctor to see if joint replacement surgery is the right choice to help you get back to an active lifestyle.

Livshetz,-Isaac.JPGDr. Isaac Livshetz is a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement of the hip and knee, including complicated initial joint replacements as well as revision surgery. To schedule an appointment in West Harrison or New Rochelle, please call 914-946-1010.
 

Tags: hip replacement, knee replacement, orthopedics