When joint replacement may be necessary
When hip or knee pain is so severe that it interferes with your daily activities, or you can no longer stay active because of it, an orthopedic surgeon can evaluate if you're a candidate for joint replacement surgery.
"Joint replacement is one of the most successful operations in medicine," Dr. Miller said.
Once you have a hip or knee replacement, you won't get arthritis in the replaced joints again. Dr. Miller noted, "We take out any remaining cartilage and replace it and the rest of the joint with man-made materials, so arthritis can't affect the joint anymore."
If joint replacement surgery is necessary to restore mobility by eliminating pain, it has the potential to change your life.
"The point of a joint replacement is to relieve pain and get you back to your life," Dr. Miller said. "Being able to stay active improves your entire outlook. If you can stay active and walk three times a week, you'll probably live longer. Walking on a regular basis decreases blood pressure and blood sugar, improves memory, eases depression and builds muscle mass and bone density. In other words, just by walking on a regular basis, you can be smarter, happier, stronger and healthier."