Total joint replacement surgeries have become increasingly common over the past few years, with over 1 million people undergoing the procedure annually in the United States.1 As with any widespread medical intervention comes the multitude of misconceptions and myths that are often taken as fact.
Myth 1: Joint Replacements are Extremely Painful
Modern joint replacement surgeries involve highly skilled surgeons, have low recovery times, and have become very minimal in terms of post-operative pain.2 Most people who undergo the procedure report feeling mild pain, mainly during the initial post-operative period.
Myth 2: Joint Replacements Don’t Last Very Long
Long gone are the days of attempting a joint replacement that lasted a few short years. Today, joint replacement technology has improved significantly, with most replacements lasting a lifetime with proper aftercare.3 Furthermore, advancements in technology have allowed for patients to undergo more extensive surgery than before, with better outcomes and longer-lasting results.
Myth 3: Joint Replacements Don’t Restore Mobility
This is simply not true. Joint replacement surgery can vastly improve a patient’s range of motion and make specific activities, such as walking and running, much easier and less painful.4 Improved mobility is one of the most obvious benefits of joint replacement surgery, and is typically reported immediately after the healing period.
Myth 4: Joint Replacements Aren’t Appropriate For Younger People
Joint replacement surgery is appropriate for people of all ages, providing they have severe joint pain and disability.5 Most patients who are eligible for joint replacement surgery are elderly, but in cases of severe joint trauma or early advanced arthritis, joint replacement surgery may provide a much-needed improvement in quality of life.
Benefits of Joint Replacement Surgery
Aside from the eradication of joint pain and improved mobility, there are several other benefits to joint replacement surgery. These benefits include reduced inflammation, improved physical performance, improved muscle strength and range of motion, fewer visits to the doctor, and improved overall quality of life.6
By undergoing joint replacement surgery, eligible patients can gain back much of what they have lost due to severe joint pain or disability. With better pain management and improved mobility, joint replacement is the ideal solution for many patients.
If you are suffering from joint pain or disability, consult your doctor to see if you are eligible for a joint replacement.
Keywords: Joint Replacement Surgery, Common Myths, Pain Relief, Mobility, Range of Motion, Benefits
1 Anwer TK, Fleischman AN, Glassman SD, et al. The total joint replacement market in the United States. CMAJ. 2018;189(41):E1255-E1263. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.170435
2 “What’s Involved in Total Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery?” 2016. Orthoinfo.Aaos.org. March 5 2017.
3Grover N and Stern P. “Total Joint Replacement: Indications, Outcomes, and Complications.” Clinics in geriatric medicine, 2018; 34(4): 605-622.
4 “Total Joint Replacement.” 2019. Cleveland Clinic. October 2 2019.
5 Stackhouse K, et al. “Demographics and Utilization of Total Joint Replacement Surgery in the US.” Pain Physician, 2014; 17(5): 439-448.
6 “Total Joint Replacement.” 2019. Mayo Clinic, October 2 2019.