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Don’t Wait for Relief From Joint Pain

The body’s joints can absorb a significant amount of pressure and impact during an individual’s lifetime. for people suffering from extreme joint pain that interferes with daily activities, joint replacement surgery may be an option for relief.

According to the National Institutes of Health, joint pain can result from many factors and conditions, depending on an individual’s activities and health. Symptoms of joint pain and stiffness, which often signal joint deterioration, could be caused by numerous conditions, including:

• Bursitis

• Fracture

• Gout

• Lyme disease

• Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

• Osteomyelitis (bone infection)

• Overuse injuries, such as sprains or strains

• Tendonitis

“If you are experiencing persistent signs of joint deterioration, your physician can assess your symptoms and medical history and examine your joints and their movement to determine the cause of the pain,” says John Barrington, M.D., boardcertified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. “Joint degeneration is progressive, and delaying treatment could lead to further deterioration, muscle atrophy and gait abnormalities. See a physician before your arthritic joint reaches this stage.”

Medications and injections may be prescribed initially for joint pain treatment, but surgical joint replacement may be recommended for bone-on-bone pain due to cartilage deterioration. The standards of joint replacement surgery continue to improve, as less invasive surgical techniques and stronger materials often enable joint replacement patients to be back on their feet within days.

“Joint replacement surgery has never been safer or less painful for patients,” says Roger Emerson, M.D., board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff at Texas Health Plano. “This procedure can completely change a person’s life, and for individuals who qualify for surgery, there is no reason to wait to obtain relief from joint pain.”

For patients undergoing joint replacement surgery, our staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano’s Joint Replacement Program provide extensive support before and after the procedure for a full circle of orthopedic care.

After patients decide to have joint replacement surgery, a comprehensive preoperative class helps them understand the surgery and recovery processes, covering topics such as:

• Pain management

• Preparing for surgery

• Daily hospital routine

• Post-surgical care

• Physical therapy

• Care after leaving the hospital

A guidebook is also presented to patients to use as a reference after completing the class. The staff educates patients’ families and loved ones about their needs to create a support system so patients receive the care they require after surgery as well.

Carole Inman, R.N., joint care coordinator at Texas Health Plano, helps joint replacement patients through the surgical and recovery processes. With more than 30 years of nursing experience, Inman works with the orthopedic care team and patients to coordinate their journey.

For more information about Texas Health Plano’s Joint Replacement Program, contact the joint care coordinator at 972-981-2817.

(Summer 2011)

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