Effectively treat joint pain with the Joint Restoration treatment options available.
The joints that connect other bones throughout your body are susceptible to injury, especially those that are frequently used, as may be the case if you play sports or participate in activity involving repetitious movements on a regular basis.
- Joints and connection or nearby tissues can become damaged due to injury, disease or irritation
- Steps need to be taken quickly to restore the normal function
- Treatment options often start off conservative but can include surgery
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When to Consider Joint Restoration
Some forms of joint pain will go away with the RICE method or over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medications. When joint pain is severe or becomes progressively worse, however, further attention is required. The first step at restoring joint function for most patients is the use of common conservative treatments. This initial attempt at joint restoration often includes:
- Modifying activities to give the joint time to heal
- Physical therapy exercises to strengthen supporting muscles
- Epidural injections to provide temporary relief
- Massage therapy to increase circulation
If conservative methods aren’t providing meaningful relief, joint restoration may involve surgery that includes some type of joint reconstruction. The type of surgical joint restoration procedure that’s recommended will depend on the specific joint affected, the severity of the pain, and the extent of the damage to the joint itself and its adjacent or connective tissues and structures.
Often recommended for younger patients, joint resurfacing is a joint reconstruction procedure where part of a joint may be replaced with a metal or plastic prosthesis, although an effort is made to preserve as much of the rest of the joint as possible. Reconstruction surgery sometimes involves an osteotomy to take weight off the damaged part of a knee joint, cartilage restoration, and ligament and tendon repair.
Joints that are severely damaged due to injury or progressive damage from various forms of arthritis may need to be completely replaced with an artificial joint. Replacement can involve artificial joints that are cemented or non-cemented or a combination of the two techniques. More than a million joint replacements are performed in the United States each year, with the common joints replaced being ones in hips and knees. Other joints, including those in supporting elbows, shoulders, wrists, and ankles, may also be replaced to restore joint function.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Many joint reconstruction and replacement procedures performed today involve minimally invasive techniques, which often means fewer surgical complications, smaller incisions, and shorter recovery periods for patients. Recovery from any type of surgery to restore a joint to its original functioning condition typically involves a rehabilitation program that includes exercises to improve joint and soft tissue strength and restore the affected joint’s natural range of motion. Recovery can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on what procedure was done and a patient’s overall health.
If joint function is successfully restored with treatment and rehab, reduce your risk of re-injury by doing proper warm-ups before working out or playing sports. Paying attention to technique and knowing when to rest sore joints and supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments can also keep joints healthy following restoration. Maintaining a healthy weight and being mindful of posture and diet can also be beneficial.