Joint replacement surgeons evaluate and treat patients with pain and disability from arthritic joints. Before recommending surgery, we often suggest trying one or more of the non-surgical measures to alleviate pain, which include over-the-counter medications like anti-inflammatories (such as naproxen or ibuprofen) and acetaminophen, avoiding painful activity, doing low- impact exercises, weight management, bracing, and injections (cortisone or viscosupplementation)*. Many times, these conservative options are enough to manage a patient's arthritic symptoms, but, if the pain and disability continue at a level unacceptable to the patient, arthroplasty (joint replacement) may be their best option. In an arthroplasty procedure, the degenerated, worn-out surface of a joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint surface. Patients very often experience excellent or complete relief of their pain and return of their function, allowing them to carry on with their lives. The joint replacement surgeons at MaineOrtho are trained and experienced in arthroplasty, including minimally invasive techniques and partial and total joint replacement techniques in the knee, hip, shoulder, and elbow.
If you are considering joint replacement surgery, Mercy Hospital offers a Joint Camp, which prepares you for your surgery. Click here to find out more information about this program.
*To read the evidence-based clinical guidelines for the non-arthroplasty management of knee arthritis established by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, please click here.