Tired, achy, and sore. Whether through the passing of time, wear and tear due to physical activity, or sustained injuries, your joints may not feel as good as they used to. If you are like many people, you may dismiss these and other issues as simply something you have to deal with. However, you don’t need to resign yourself to living in pain or sitting on the sidelines while others lead active lifestyles. Our Portland orthopedic and joint replacement specialists can provide the care you need to get back to making the most of each day.
What Are the Most Common Joint Replacements?
Orthopedic specialists perform hip replacements and knee replacements more than any other kind. Typically, joints found in the legs get the most wear and tear over a lifetime, so it makes sense that replacing worn-out or damaged ones occurs frequently. However, joint replacements can also involve the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and ankles.
Top Signs Joint Replacement May Be Right for You
In many cases, an appointment with a joint replacement specialist can set you on the path to regaining full range of motion, alleviating pain, and renewing your ability to take part in your favorite activities. No matter what joint is causing you trouble, there are five signs that indicate a strong need to make an appointment with a qualified joint replacement specialist as soon as possible.
1. Chronic Pain
Acute pain occurs with an injury or when you do extreme physical activity. It goes away quickly, and you can resume your everyday life with no problems. Chronic pain lingers. It becomes a constant and unwanted companion that gets in the way of true enjoyment. The issue may not go away when you stop whatever activity triggered it in the first place. Chronic orthopedic pain is the most important reason to consider joint replacement surgery because it is the most common and potentially disruptive to the rest of your life.
2. Deformation of the Joint
Although swelling may cause some deformation on a temporary basis, joints may also shift position permanently. For example, bowed or knocked knees (out-turned or in-turned joints) may indicate structural damage. Similar problems may also occur in other major joints like the shoulders or elbows. This is more commonly seen after traumatic injuries or with osteoarthritis diagnoses.
3. Limits to Motion or Physical Ability
Whether because of pain, swelling, or limited range of motion, joint pain sometimes stops you from taking part in your favorite activities. Athletes and fitness fanatics may experience greater disruption, but everyone deserves to walk their dog, play with their grandkids, or go shopping without issues. No one should have to give up everything they enjoy doing because of chronic or worsening joint symptoms.
4. Diagnosed Osteoarthritis
Many people go to a joint specialist or orthopedist after receiving a related diagnosis from their primary care doctor. Osteoarthritis, which is indicated by inflammation of the joints, is the most common one. Once you get to this point, knee or hip replacement becomes a highly beneficial option for most patients.
5. At-Home Treatments Do Not Provide Relief
Everyone gets sore sometimes, and an over-the-counter pain medication, heating pad, or ice pack can make you feel better again. However, when these become common activities instead of occasional treatments, it may become time to see a joint specialist. Also, if they no longer provide total relief, there are other options to explore with your doctor.
Now Is the Time to Take the First Steps Toward a Pain-Free Future
If your joint pain keeps getting worse over time, it makes no sense to wait longer than necessary. Do not linger in chronic pain, avoid your favorite activities, or struggle to enjoy a comfortable life. Things will only get more difficult and unpleasant the longer you wait to seek treatment.