Total joint arthroplasty, also called total joint replacement (TJR), has grown in popularity; however, doctors, as well as patients, are trying to recognize which patients diagnosed with arthritis benefit most, in addition to the best time for these types of major surgeries, such as knee surgery Pensacola. 

Is Total Knee Replacement Surgery On The Rise? 

According to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2014, the number of TKR or total knee replacements between 1993 and 2009 more than tripled, and the number more than double for total hip replacements during the same period. Some of those surgeries, however, may have happened too early in the course of the patients’ arthritis. 

For example, Arthritis & Rheumatism published a study in 2014 that found, in accordance with the criteria utilized most frequently in the United States to assist doctors in deciding whether a patient is ready for total knee replacement, one-third of the procedures were “inappropriate”. In most cases, the main factor for the “inappropriate” determination was that the procedure was performed on individuals whose joint damage that resulted from osteoarthritis (OA) was considered mild or moderate instead of severe. 

However, according to Jeffrey Katz, MD, professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, those criteria were developed back in the late 1990s, and are outdated. During that time, implants and surgical techniques were less successful. Today, TKR is much safer and more effective. He states that having TKR surgery while having a better degree of preoperative function will typically result in a better degree of postoperative function. Then again, there is an increased risk the implant will need to be replaced in the patient’s lifetime. 

Furthermore, The Bone & Joint Journal published a 2014 study in which less severe joint damage was linked to worse outcomes in function one year following TKR compared with individuals with more advanced joint damage. 

For some individuals, it may be better to try and control symptoms through other methods such as exercise, which is helpful in improving function and pain rather than immediately do surgery. 

Who Benefits Most from Total Joint Replacement?

A 2013 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism may be helpful in determining which arthritis patients’ would receive the most benefits. Factors that resulted in a better outcome included:

With a high number of individuals opting for TJR, it’s important for them to understand what this surgery is for and what it’ll provide. 

In this study, 202 patients were followed who found it difficult completing such tasks as rising from chairs and climbing stairs, and who also had “bad” knee or hip joints. 

Over half (53.5%) of those studied reported “good” outcomes following surgery. Those with the most mobility limitations and pain received the greatest improvement. The low percentage of “good” results makes sense, says Dr. Hawker, MD, the physician-in-chief of the department of medicine at Women’s College Hospital in Ontario, Canada. 

To learn more about TJR and/or TKR please visit today! 



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