Arthritis surgical treatments

If medications and relaxation techniques are not sufficient to stop the pain, swelling and inflammation caused by arthritis, then some other measures should be considered, including surgical options.

Before choosing any of the operations that can help you to recover from arthritis, you should consult your physician. You should discuss with him or her all the details, all the problems that arthritis causes you, and try to collect as much information as possible. The fact is that there may be other options — alternatives to surgery – that your doctor may recommend. You should also find out about the different consequences and side effects of surgery, in order to be prepared mentally as well as physically. In addition, your doctor may prescribe some pre-operational medications and recommend a course of special exercises in order to increase blood circulation, etc.

There are many advantages to surgery. Oftentimes, an operation can bring you pain relief, and you will be able to move and function as you did prior to arthritis. In certain cases where medications and relaxation techniques have proven ineffective, surgery is highly recommended.

However, there are also risks involved in any surgery. It can lead to blood clots and other related health problems. The surgery cannot be performed if you have infections, suffer from excess weight, or certain other diseases. You should first take care of any of those problems before considering surgery.

There are a number of surgeries that are employed to treat arthritis, including the following.

  • Arthrodesis. Arthrodesis is the surgical immobilization of a joint by fusion of the adjacent bones. This is one of the most helpful kinds of surgeries to treat arthritis. However, there is a major disadvantage to this type of operation. Arthrodesis helps to relieve pain, but following this operation you will lose the full flexibility and mobility of the joint. You will be able to perform some regular tasks, but your joint will not function as it did prior to having arthritis and surgery.
  • Arthoplasty. This operation involves the full replacement or rebuilding of a joint. This surgery is recommended to those people who suffer from severe pain and who have almost lost the ability of the joint to move.
  • Arthroscopy. This surgery has become more and more popular in recent years. It involves the use of an instrument through which the interior of a joint may be inspected and operated on. A surgeon cannot perform this treatment alone, because he or she needs assisting staff. Arthroscopy is a very complex operation; apart from arthroscopes, it involves the use of many other gadgets such as computers, closed-circuit TVs, microphones, etc. Following a surgery like this, you can view the recording of the operation and see all the details of the process. This surgery is considered to be one of the most effective types of surgeries designed to treat arthritis. In addition, it takes less time to recover from arthroscopy than from other traditional surgeries.
  • Osteotomy. Osteotomy is the surgical cutting of a bone or removal of a piece of bone. This is a very effective surgery that helps to kill pain and bring back mobility. This surgery also helps to postpone arthoplasty for as long as ten years.
  • Synovectomy. This surgery involves the removal of diseased joint tissue, and is usually performed with the help of arthroscopes. Synovectomy helps to reduce pain, swelling and to improve the health of the joint in general. Unfortunately, it cannot cure the joint completely.

Joint replacement is considered to be the most important and effective of all the treatments for arthritis. Hundreds of thousands of Americans undergo this surgery each year, and the number is growing. Joint replacement is just one of many options that modern medicine offers in order to cure arthritis, but it is one of the most popular.

This operation involves the complete removal of the diseased joint and tissue, and replacement of it by a metal prosthesis. Thus, pain is eliminated almost entirely. In most cases, joint replacement is used to replace joints in the knee, hip or ankle. However, as time has passed and technology has evolved, the operation has begun to be performed on many other joints.

When it comes to hip replacement, the operation involves the replacement of the entire hip joint. Usually, it takes an extended period of time to get ready for this surgery. Most people who have chosen to undergo hip replacement surgery prepare their own blood for transfusion during the surgery. A great deal of blood is lost during hip replacement, and in order to diminish the risks of different infections, etc, it is always best to use your own blood that has been previously taken from you.

In the beginning of the hip replacement procedure, the surgeon makes a very small incision. Then the entire diseased joint is removed and replaced with a metal construction. The operation ends with the closing of the incision.

However, there are some less radical surgical methods that can help you to fight arthritis. One of these alternatives is fusion Arthrodesis, also sometimes known as bone fusion. This surgery involves the wiring of some bones to stop them from moving independently from each other. Fusion Arthrodesis may be performed by bone grafting, wherein a small piece of bone is placed between two bones in order to stimulate their growth and fusion. Alternatively, fusion Arthrodesis may be done by inserting a metal or ceramic implant that will prevent bones from moving independently. This piece is glued or screwed into the bones.

Fusion Arthrodesis is a very complex medical procedure; however, it is less complicated and invasive than joint replacement surgery. That is why many physicians first recommend trying fusion, then the conjunction of fusion and joint replacement, and joint replacement alone as a final resort.

There is also one more medical procedure performed in order to treat arthritis, which is known as Osteotomy. This surgery involves the removal of the diseased tissue and material within the joint. The surgeon makes small surgical incisions, and then with the help of special instruments observes the joint on a closed-circuit TV. Then he or she analyzes which tissues cause pain and should be removed. Patients do not need to be admitted to a hospital to undergo this surgery. There is no need of an after-surgery hospital stay because it takes little time to recover completely from the operation.

This does not necessarily mean, however, that there is some set timeline for recovery from this type of surgery. It depends on the patient, the details of the surgery and the person’s overall health. A general estimate of the recovery period from an Osteotomy would be from two to four weeks.

The emotional state of the person who undergoes the surgery, as well as the motivation to recover quickly, is very important. You should firmly believe that you will win this fight with arthritis, and there is no way the disease can prevent you from moving as you wish; you will not suffer from the same pain as you once did.

In the final analysis, before choosing a particular type of surgery or any other treatment for your arthritis, you need to undertake some research. It is advisable to visit more than one physician in order to get at least two opinions. In addition, “Google” arthritis treatment on the Internet, and read some related books. You can also join a related forum on the Internet and talk to other people who face or have faced the same problem.

It is always best to be aware of what you are going to undergo and to know as much as possible. You should also figure out how your life will change during the recovery period. You will certainly need the help and support of your friends and family. Nevertheless, today there are more successful treatments than ever before, and with the proper research and a positive attitude, you are certain to find one that will help you to eliminate those painful symptoms and eventually win your battle with arthritis.

Last updated on Mar 11th, 2009 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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