And just how good is joint-replacement surgery
Most articles about joint replacement surgery (and the surgeons who perform them) make statements such as: “The vast majority of patients who have their knees replaced are markedly improved” or “More than 80% of people who have their hip replaced are glad they had it done.” While these statements are generally quite true, there is still a significant number of people who get less than they expected from the surgery.
One Indian study analyzed the question of how good knee replacement surgery is — but not from the surgeon’s perspective. These studies surveyed Number of surgeries and the revision surgeries that took place after replacement was done. After all, joint replacement surgery is intended to reduce pain and improve function, so it’s the patient’s perspective that counts! Here’s what they found:
A 2013 study by Indian Society of Hip and Knee Surgeons (ISHKS) on total knee replacements and hips replacements in India, enlisted an independent survey that has been collecting data for last 6 years . With 25 % males and 75 % females undergoing the total knee replacement treatment, about one-third reported that their knee did not feel “normal.” Up to one half reported at least some continued symptoms or trouble with function. About , 64 % due to Aseptic loosing, 26 % due to Infection had to undergo revision surgeries.
Is joint replacement right for you?
These studies suggest that if you are considering joint replacement surgery it’s important to know what to expect:
It’s a big operation with a significant recovery time.
There are some important risks like infection and continued pain
There’s a reasonable chance your knee will not feel completely “normal” afterwards.
Still, for many, having a severely arthritic joint replaced allows them to walk with far less (or no) pain and to have a dramatically improved quality of life. No, it’s not perfect. Ask yourself- is joint replacement is the best and only option or is there something even better than replacement which should be considered ?
Pachore, Jawahir A et al. “ISHKS Joint Registry: A Preliminary Report.” Indian Journal of Orthopaedics 47.5 (2013): 505–509. PMC. Web. 9 May 2017.