If you’re struggling with chronic joint pain that’s limiting your daily activities, you may begin to start thinking about joint replacement surgery.
Chronic joint pain is most often caused by osteoarthritis, a progressive condition in which the cartilage on the surface of bones in a joint begin to erode. As osteoarthritis advances, there’s less cartilage to cushion the joint. Without protection, the bones that make up the joint rub together when you move, causing inflammation and pain.
“That can cause significant dysfunction in a person’s day-to-day activities,” says Tidelands Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Derrek Woodbury. “If a patient is functioning well with conservative, non-operative treatments, it’s not time for replacement surgery. But when patients are continuing to have pain that’s causing significant dysfunction in their life, when they’re having pain every day that’s not improving with medication, physical therapy or activity modification, then we’re starting to move toward total joint replacement as a viable option.”
Before surgery is pursued, patients have several non-surgical treatment options, including: