Each year, over 500,000 Americans undergo joint replacement surgery. It’s a life-changing procedure for those living with chronic joint pain that conservative treatment options aren’t effective at alleviating. Age is definitely a consideration for joint replacement surgery. People of advanced age are likely to have more health conditions and diseases than a person who is younger that may contribute to surgery complications. On the flip side, patients too young are more active and may wear out the prosthesis sooner, which could necessitate revision surgery. However, age is an important variable along with other equally important considerations for the procedure. All in all, there is no right or wrong age to get a joint replacement because other factors also play a role.
Eligibility is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and orthopedic surgeons consider several factors before arriving at a decision. All patients must undergo a thorough evaluation and examination to be considered for the procedure. Joint replacement surgery, no matter how advanced or minimally-invasive is still a major surgery, which is why a careful evaluation of the patient is of critical importance and why it is the last treatment options doctors recommend for chronic joint injuries and diseases.
Evaluating Patient Eligibility for Joint Replacement Surgery
Doctors assess the patient’s overall health to determine eligibility for the procedure. Certain diseases, such as diabetes and osteoporosis — the former affects wound healing and the latter affects bone density — may disqualify a patient from undergoing joint replacement surgery. What may surprise you is that dental problems like periodontal disease may also affect eligibility due to the increased risk of complications during surgery. Studies found a link between failed joint replacement surgeries and bacteria present in the mouth of patients with gum disease. Uncontrolled periodontal disease and diabetes can affect people of all ages, which means a young patient could be disqualified just as much as an older patient due to these factors.
Doctors always consider a patient’s complications risk during evaluation and try to prescribe conservative treatments for treatable diseases and injuries before surgery. Next is the severity of the patient’s condition. Joint replacement surgery is usually recommended as the final option for patients with advanced arthritis or injuries. Severe pain, joint deformity, disability, and loss of independence are important considerations. Advanced arthritis is most often the reason why older patients seek joint replacement surgery, but just because most young patients don’t have arthritis doesn’t mean they aren’t good candidates for the procedure. Many times, young patients suffer injuries that are severe, making surgery the only viable option.
Life-Changing Joint Replacement Surgery
Joint replacement surgery can give patients a new lease on life, function, and mobility. After undergoing an extensive rehabilitation program, patients can regain greater independence and enjoy the activities they love. With the best outcomes, joint replacement surgery enhances patient quality of life. While age is certainly a consideration, joint replacement surgery isn’t recommended based solely on it. Many other factors come into play when deciding what the best course of treatment is for a patient.
Joint Replacement Surgeon in Boynton Beach, FL
The orthopedic surgeons at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches specialize in joint replacement surgery, specifically on the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. We also perform revision surgery for patients who need their prostheses replaced. We also have full-service on-site physical therapy services as part of our comprehensive rehabilitation program.
To find out if you are eligible for the procedure, have one of our joint replacement surgeons evaluate your condition. Call (561) 733-5888, Ext. 1 to schedule an appointment or use our convenient online request form.