Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic conditions of the joints and affects more than 30 million people in the U.S., mostly in their knees and hips. There are a variety of ways to treat osteoarthritis, including physical therapy before surgery, which is called prehabilitation, and/or physical therapy after total joint replacement surgery, known as rehabilitation.
At a recent presentation at The Greens, Dr. Bradford Waddell, an orthopedic surgeon with HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health who specializes in hip and knee replacement, discussed how to determine the right time for replacement surgery. According to Dr. Waddell, if surgery is recommend, patients need to ask themselves these three questions to help decided whether or not to move forward with it:
1. Have I tried an adequate amount of non-operative therapy (with the doctor’s input), or I am beyond standard non-operative interventions?
2. Is the pain keeping me from the activities I want and need to do?
3. Are the bad days outnumbering the good days in regards to my painful knee or hip?
He stressed that patients should choose a quality provider for the surgery and ask them about “pre-hab”, programs that strengthen key muscles before their surgery. This leads to quicker recovery and better outcomes.
You can learn more about what to expect from hip or knee replacement as well as Dr. Waddell’s approach to helping patients make surgery decisions in this column in the Daily Voice.