Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - 21

Why You're READY

1 You've already tried modifying

your lifestyle. At some point, aging
joints don't let you run and jump like
you used to. But if you're still in pain
after you've traded running for biking or
reduced your hourlong walk to 30 minutes, it's time to explore the next level
of treatment options.

2 Pain is inhibiting you from everyday activities. You can change your
hobbies and possibly even your job to
accommodate joint pain, but you can't
eliminate the physical demands of simply getting through the day.
"I have to be able to get off a toilet or
chair. I have to be able to fi x meals for
myself or walk to the mailbox. I need
to walk at least a couple of blocks,"
Johnson says.
3 You're in pain more often than
not. Johnson recommends starting a
daily log in which you record the pain
levels you experience on a scale of
zero to 10.
"If you have more bad days than good
days, maybe surgery is a consideration,"
he says.
4 Your joint is damaged from osteoarthritis. The bones of a healthy joint
glide over each other thanks to cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends
of the bones and helps absorb shock.
But when the joint is damaged by
osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks
down, causing bones to rub together.
Your doctor will take X-rays to
look for space between bones, which
should be filled with cartilage. If bones
are instead touching, Johnson says,
"They've essentially lost all of their cartilage ... they'd be a candidate for total
knee or total hip replacement."
5 You've exhausted all other non-

surgical treatments. Before recommending surgery, your doctor may
prescribe physical therapy to alleviate

stress on the joint by strengthening
the muscles surrounding it. Antiinflammatory medications or steroid
injections to reduce swelling might be
part of treatment, too.
If nothing helps manage the pain,
you probably need joint replacement.
But that doesn't mean the time spent
strengthening muscles during physical
therapy was wasted.
"Your recovery will be that much
better," Johnson says.

Why You're NOT READY
1 You haven't tried losing weight.

Extra weight means extra stress on
your joints. A study in Arthritis &
Rheumatology found that every pound
of weight lost reduced pressure on
the knee fourfold-so if you drop 10
pounds, you'll take off 40 pounds of
pressure. Losing weight can help you
be more active and, in turn, prolong
or even avoid the need for surgery.

2 You haven't quit smoking. Studies
show that joint replacement surgery is
riskier and less effective for people who
smoke. In one study, smokers were 10
times more likely to undergo revision
surgeries and almost twice as likely to
develop surgical complications, including blood clots and kidney failure.
A successful joint replacement surgery requires the bone to grow into
the implant. But because nicotine
constricts blood vessels, smokers are
slower to heal and more prone to infection and blood clots.

3 You're not healthy enough for
surgery. Joint pain can trigger a vicious
cycle: A sedentary lifestyle and weight
gain can lead to heart disease or type 2
diabetes that makes surgery risky.
If you're not in good health, make it
your goal to get well enough for joint
replacement. It's worth it, Johnson says.
"The vast majority of patients have
significant improvement, if not complete resolution of their pain." ■

READY FOR
A NEW JOINT?
Learn everything you need to know
about knee, hip or shoulder replacement
surgery at a FREE information session
offered by UVA Health System. Prepare
for surgery by understanding your goals
for recovery and knowing what to expect
before, during and after the procedure.
Classes are held each month on
the first and third Tuesdays from 3 to
4:30 p.m. and the second and fourth
Thursdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
at the UVA Fontaine Research Park
in Charlottesville.
Topics covered include:
* Admission process
* Nutrition
* Pain management
* Physical therapy
* Discharge planning
* Pre-home preparation
UVA ranks among the nation's top 50
orthopedics programs, according to U.S.
News and World Report's most recent
"Best Hospitals" guide.

WEBSITE

Have Questions? Sign Up for a FREE Class
Sign up for a joint replacement information session offered by UVA Health
System Orthopedics at uvahealth.com/jointclass.

SPRING 2018

21


http://www.uvahealth.com/jointclass

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Spring 2018 - University of Virginia - Cover3
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