Question:It seems like all my friends are getting hip or knee replacements. I've been told I need one, but I'm just not ready to jump in. Am I the only one holding out on this?
Joint replacement is an accepted treatment for arthritis. It has been shown to be safe and effective for the majority of patients. Even so, research shows that only 10 percent of patients with arthritis are willing to do it. The patients had all been evaluated as needing a joint replacement.
There are many reasons why patients hold off on this decision. Some do not have accurate information to rely on. They depend on their friends and peers' results to make decisions for themselves. They may have been told paralysis is likely or that the pain doesn't go away with the new implant. These fears keep them from taking advantage of this treatment.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of joint replacement for yourself. Make sure you are a good candidate. Then use accurate medical information to make an informed decision. Don't rush into it until you are "ready to jump in."Jocalyn P. Clark, MSc, PhD, et al. The Moving Target: A Qualitative Study of Elderly Patients' Decision-Making Regarding Total Joint Replacement Surgery. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. July 2004. Vol. 86-A. No. 7. Pp. 1366-1375.
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