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Hip and knee replacements have always been great option for managing osteoarthritis, and these procedures are more popular now then ever.
For those living with osteoarthritis, there are plenty of ways to manage the pain. From therapy treatments to certain medications, you have options that can make moving around an easier and more comfortable situation. Doctors also often recommend knee and hip replacement surgery, and as of recently, more people are taking this route now than ever.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that knee replacement treatment doubled between 2000 and 2010 to nearly 719,000 operations and about 332,000 hip replacement surgeries. Doctors don't expect this trend to falter any time soon - in fact, they expect to see an even higher increase in the amount of surgeries performed.
What defines this sudden uprising for replacement surgeries? Dr. Thomas Huff, an orthopedic surgeon at Oregon Health & Science University told The Oregonian that there are a number of reasons.
"The population is getting older," he said. "People are trying to be more active, and so maybe they're abusing their joints more to some extent. There's also more acceptance of the procedure."
Both of these procedures have been around for a while – knee replacement dating back to the 60s, hip replacement even further – and the operations haven't changed much. So what makes this a surgery that's in high demand now? Huff told the source that it's due to the improvement of surgical techniques and an evolution in tools that help surgeons accomplish the surgery in a more efficient and safe manner.
Furthermore, an improvement in pain management strategy has helped decrease the time patients spend in the hospital post-surgery. Decades ago, they were expected to spend at least a week in the hospital after going under the needle. Now, patients spend only a few days in the hospital post-surgery. Doctors have reported that keeping patients in the hospital for too long can increase the risk of blood clots forming. Instead, they get them up and moving to keep the blood flow regulated after surgery.
Besides an improved strategy, surgical techniques and use of operation tools, the materials used to make knee and hip implants have also been transformed for the better. This improvement is especially handy for personalization and helping a patient with an unusual problem.
Why Choose Replacement Surgery?
If you or a loved one lives with osteoarthritis, hip or knee replacement surgery is an excellent option. By removing the damaged or diseased part of the joint and replacing it with an implant, you can live without the severe pain and improve your walking and movement, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Joint replacement surgeries can help you get back to doing all of the things that your osteoarthritis used to hold you back from.
If you are interested in learning more about hip and knee replacement surgery, consult your doctor about the steps you need to take to receive the treatment.