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A man kneels on one leg at the gym while holding his knee with his hands signifying knee joint pain

The Risks of Delaying Joint Replacement Surgery

There are so many systems in the body that make it human nature to avoid painful situations. It’s part of the reason why it’s so common for people to deal with pain rather than go to the doctor to risk the chance of having to get surgery. After all, many people are afraid of getting surgery because they assume that it will be a painful, expensive and lengthy journey to full recovery.

However, avoiding surgery, especially when it’s related to a joint, can actually worsen any symptoms you’re experiencing. The truth is, delaying joint surgery comes with a variety of risks to your overall wellness.

Your Joint Can Start to Deteriorate

If you’re in need of a joint replacement, prolonging the decision to get surgery for the issue will wear down the joint over time. For example, if you’re putting off getting a hip replacement, the joint will deteriorate, causing more discomfort and potentially make it more difficult for doctors to perform the surgery.

As the joint starts to wear down, you’ll also have a higher risk of needing a specialized implant. The problem with specialized implants is that they often take a while to create and will often increase the surgery time since they often need to be placed with more caution.

General Health Problems and Inactivity

By avoiding joint surgery, the pain and discomfort it causes can make it more difficult to enjoy your hobbies and lifestyle. Over time, simple pleasures like going for a hike or playing golf with a friend will become more painful and difficult. This often leads to a more sedentary lifestyle and increases your risk of experiencing depression.

Being more inactive as a result of joint pain also leads to weight gain which is a precursor to a wide variety of health issues including heart and pulmonary conditions. If your joint pain is causing mobility issues, the risk of delaying surgery is much more severe.

Compensatory Issues

Compensatory problems are when other parts of your body are put under increased pressure and pain when you’re compensating for a joint injury. Let’s say you’re having problems with your hip and are putting off surgery. Since your hip joint is in pain, you might direct more of the pressure from actions like walking or lifting objects to your back. Your back isn’t used to that extra stress, so you’re likely to develop back pain.

Part of what makes compensatory issues so difficult to deal with is that you might not even realize the extra pressure you’re putting on your body. You might delay joint replacement surgery to avoid how time-consuming recovery can be, but delaying it often means you’ll be dealing with pain over a longer period.

The Risk of Joint Stiffness

Did you know that delaying joint replacement surgery can lead to a loss of productivity in the affected area of the body? When you have a joint in pain, you’re less likely to move that part of the body. Over time, that decrease in activity makes your joint muscle, ligaments and capsule contract causing stiffness. While this issue is most common for anyone who delays a knee replacement, joint stiffness can have a serious impact on your mobility.

Discover Quality Orthopedic Care in Madison, IN

If you’re in need of joint replacement surgery, the expert Orthopedic team at King’s Daughters’ Health is here to help. Our doctors will treat you like family and we have a wide variety of orthopedic services from physical therapy to athletic training to help your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how help you live your best life today.

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