Many patients who experience knee or hip pain over the age of 40 may have underlying arthritis. Sometimes various injection can provide adequate relief: steroid (cortisone), PRP (plate rich plasma)/ stem cells, and HA (hyaluronic acid). Those active adults that have end stage or severe arthritis that do not improve with other options are best served ultimately undergoing joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty, which entails implanting prosthetic devices.
Many patients suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis are able to relieve their symptoms by taking anti-inflammatory medications, receiving physical therapy and altering their activities. For some, the hip or knee pain continues. The discomfort and stiffness make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or rise from a seated position. The pain may persist even while the body is inactive. In such cases, orthopedists often recommend joint arthroplasty.
The procedure involves a surgeon removing damaged bone and cartilage; and implanting an artificial joint made of metal, plastic or polymers. The prosthetics are available in a range of designs for patients with differing ages, weights, activity levels and general health. Over the last decade some designs have evolved to be customized to individual patients.
A recently published study concludes that a newly proposed grading system is an effective method of assessing complications following total knee and hip replacement surgeries.
While the surgery has a high success rate, orthopedists have continued to search for ways to accurately measure patients’ recovery.
“Reliable classification of postoperative complications is important for quality improvement efforts,” Dr. Dorothy Y. Harris and her associates noted in their report titled “Correlations Between a Dedicated Orthopaedic Complications Grading System and Early Adverse Outcomes in Joint Arthroplasty.”
They analyzed a grading system that the Knee Society proposed earlier this year. The study was needed because “a relationship between complication grades and surgical outcomes has not yet been established,” the researchers wrote. Their goal was to identify the early adverse outcomes following total knee replacement or hip arthroplasties into different grades. The results indicated that the grading system “is applicable to TKA and THA, in terms of documentation of complication severity, and as an indicator of increased length of stay (in a hospital) and increased unplanned readmissions or reoperation rates,” the researchers explained. This will help orthopedists to potentially identifier preoperatively those at risk of these complications.
If you are experiencing knee or hip pain, and have been diagnosed with arthritis in one of the joints, you might be a candidate for total knee or hip replacement. Schedule an appointment for an evaluation by the nationally renowned sports medicine surgeons at Orthopedic Surgery San Diego to learn whether arthroplasty could be a solution for you.