GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Medical professionals said joint replacements are one of the most common orthopedic surgeries performed in the US.
According to the Center of Orthopedic Neurological Care and Research, nearly one million knee and hip replacement surgeries are performed across the country annually.
Over time, doctors said our bodies undergo extensive wear and tear. Often times that leads to joint replacements.
“They’re extremely common. It’s one of the most common orthopedic surgical procedures done in America,” said Dr. Steven Ridgeway, Orthopedic Surgeon, Bon Secours St. Francis.
Dr. Ridgeway has performed surgeries for more than 20 years.
“We do over 2,000 elective joint replacement surgeries of hip and knee replacement surgeries at Eastside St. Francis a year at our hospitals. It’s the busiest center for joint replacement in South Carolina,” said Dr. Ridgeway.
He said one of the leading causes of the procedures is arthritis.
“It’s a progressive condition. It’s by far the most common indication for joint replacement surgery,” Dr. Ridgeway said.
Doctors said there are several options to consider before finalizing a surgery. However, it all depends on the severity of your condition.
“Sometimes we try them to give people a chance with injection therapies like Visco supplementation or cortisone. Things like that, are more for the less severe cases,” said Dr. Ridgeway.
For the more severe cases, the National Institute of Health said joint replacements can relieve pain and help you move. But it comes with risks, especially for those who put off the procedure.
“Not waiting until you’re really debilitated can really help because if people come in with a really stiff, deformed knee, then that makes it much more difficult to recover from after surgery,” said Dr. Ridgeway.
Doctors said recovery time can vary, however, most people are up and moving in no time.
“For healthy patients who have good home support, we call them day patients. They come in the morning of surgery and leave that afternoon. It’s becoming much more common,” said Dr. Ridgeway said.
Dr. Ridgeway said a full recovery is typically complete in a few months.
According to medical professionals, there is no age restriction on joint replacements. Whether you are 25 or 75, doctors recommend not waiting for surgery.
If you think you are in need of a joint replacement, consult with your primary care doctor for a referral.
To submit a health topic for our ‘Ask the Expert’ series, click here.