Joint Preservation Treatment: Are You a Candidate?

Joint Preservation Treatment: Are You a Candidate?

For older adults, it is important to see an orthopedic specialist at the first sign of joint trouble. For example, if you are experiencing knee or hip pain for three or more days and it does not seem to be improving, a consultation may help determine the cause. If you experience joint pain for short periods of time but frequently, this is also an indication that you should schedule an appointment. The earlier a joint issue is discovered, the earlier treatment can begin through joint preservation.

What is Joint Preservation?

There are several ways that your orthopedic specialist can help keep your joints from deteriorating further, eventually leading to a joint replacement. A joint replacement is only a last resort in cases of advanced deterioration. In most cases, if weakening cartilage and bone in the joints is diagnosed early enough, minor treatments can keep you from needing major surgery. These are only a few of the treatments that orthopedic specialists use in joint preservation:

Are You a Candidate for Joint Preservation Treatments?

There are several factors that your doctor will take into consideration when determining if joint preservation treatment would work well, or if it would be better to replace the joint. As a specialist, they can determine the best course of action so you can regain your mobility with the least amount of stress as possible.

Age
Younger patients typically respond much better to joint preservation treatments. If these treatments are started when they are younger and the joint deterioration is just beginning, they may be able to avoid a joint replacement altogether. However, for older patients that may already have quite a bit of damage in the joint, it may be easier on you to consider a replacement.

Type of Joint
Treatments to preserve the joint for as long as possible work much better on the knees. This can be due to diagnosing the joint issues earlier. Patients are more likely to realize and complain of knee pain than they are hip or shoulder pain, for example. While many joint preservation techniques are now being used quite often for hip pain and deterioration, there still are not very many options for shoulders. Depending on the deteriorating joints, your doctor may suggest treatment or replacement.

Strength & Flexibility
The stronger and more flexible you are, the easier it will be for you and your orthopedic specialist to preserve your joints. While your doctor can use the latest treatments, you can make them more effective by staying active. Keeping to an exercise routine like going on evening walks, enjoying yoga or Pilates in the morning or making the most out of a gym membership will increase the effectiveness of your doctor’s efforts, making joint preservation a much more likely choice.

Body Weight
Not only will staying active help the treatments work more effectively, but losing weight can help as well. It is estimated that for each pound you lose, you will take three to five pounds of weight off your hips, knees and ankles. If you think about it, losing just 10 pounds can reduce the weight on your knees by up to 50 pounds. If you and your doctor feel that an exercise and diet regimen can help you lose weight, making joint preservation more effective, your doctor is more likely to recommend it.

Severity
Like we mentioned above, joint replacement surgery is saved for the most severe cases of joint deterioration. If there is no cartilage left in the joint, if there is bone-to-bone contact or if the bones themselves are becoming weak, then a joint replacement is likely the best option.

If you have been experiencing joint pain and you think you may be a candidate for joint preservation treatment, call Silicon Valley Orthopedics at our Fremont, CA, office today to schedule a consultation.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Telltale Signs of a Rotator Cuff Injury

You’ve heard that shoulder pain can sometimes be caused by a rotator cuff injury, but how do you know for sure? Here are five telltale signs that you have a rotator cuff injury and what you can do about it.

6 Effective Treatments for Hip Arthritis

Hip arthritis causes pain and stiffness that can limit your mobility and comfort. Hip arthritis can’t be cured, but these six treatments help you manage pain and maintain function. Read on to learn more.

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Chronic Joint Pain

You may think you can manage chronic joint pain on your own, but over time, it can lead to joint instability, increased weakness, greater pain, and complications. Here’s what to do about chronic joint pain and how we can help.

How to Successfully Manage ACL Tear Pain

An ACL tear makes it difficult to bear weight on your knee. Here’s how to manage the immediate pain of an ACL tear and navigate long-term treatment and recovery. Read on to learn more.

Prepping For Your Joint Replacement Surgery

You might need joint replacement surgery when more conservative treatments don’t provide relief. When you’ve scheduled your procedure, here’s how to prep in the weeks and hours before.

How PRP Treatment Can Help You Overcome an Injury

PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is an innovative treatment that stimulates your body’s ability to heal several injuries, including tendonitis, muscle strains, and joint pain. Read on to learn how PRP can help you heal and avoid surgery.