Treatments are necessary when you have severe joint pain that affects your life. However, conservative therapies don't always work in severe osteoarthritis or joint damage cases.
You may benefit from a joint replacement if you can't get through your day because of joint pain. This procedure can significantly improve your life and eliminate your chronic joint discomfort.
If you need help with joint pain, Dr. Brandon Downs and the team at Orthopaedic Specialists have the knowledge and expertise to help. Dr. Downs is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Downs recommends all his patients take part in physical therapy after their procedure to ensure the success of the joint replacement.
What is joint replacement surgery?
If you're suffering from pain in one of your joints, it could be due to a minor problem. However, if the pain keeps you from your everyday activities, you may have a more significant issue.
Your knees, hips, and shoulders are critical joints you use regularly. Over time, your joints take a beating, suffering wear-and-tear or injuries.
One of the major causes of joint problems is osteoarthritis. This condition causes the protective layer of cartilage in your joint to wear down. Without this cartilage, your joint becomes inflamed and painful, causing issues with mobility and your range of motion.
Fractures in your joint may also lead to joint dysfunction years after the injury. Our team recommends a joint replacement when conservative measures like pain medications or injections haven't helped your symptoms.
During joint replacement surgery, Dr. Downs removes the damaged areas in your joint. He then replaces the damage with a prosthetic joint that works like your natural joint. Dr. Downs secures the prosthetic joint in place with screws and cement.
Understanding physical therapy
Physical therapy is a treatment Dr. Downs uses for various conditions and after joint replacement surgery. This treatment aims to help you regain functionality in your new joint and strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
Our team uses several physical therapy techniques to allow your joint to heal properly. Stretching, therapeutic exercise and strength training are all ways our team aids you in your recovery.
Physical therapy is a great way to improve flexibility and strength after you've had a joint replacement. It's a process that takes several months, and you need to attend your appointments.
Our team tailors each physical therapy appointment to you and your joint. Every week you should notice a difference in your pain and function in your joint.
Why is physical therapy so important?
After joint replacement surgery, your main focus is getting back on your feet. Physical therapy is the best way to do this.
After the procedure, you'll initially feel pain and joint stiffness from inflammation. You'll begin physical therapy before you leave the hospital and continue for the next several months.
During each appointment, our team works to ease your pain and decrease stiffness in your joints. Physical therapy is tailored to you specifically, meaning you can go at your own pace.
Our team evaluates your ability to move your new joint during each session. We customize exercises and stretches to maximize your range of motion and improve circulation to your new joint.
Each physical therapy session is a vital component of your recovery. Pain medications help decrease your discomfort, but physical therapy works your entire body to incorporate your new joint and ensure it works better.
Our team teaches you how to keep your new joint safe during physical therapy. We provide safe exercises to improve strength in and around your joint and teach you how to use a walker or crutches during your recovery.
Every appointment is crucial to your new joint's well-being and the procedure's outcome. You'll notice a difference after the first few sessions. Our team's goal is to get you up and to move as soon as possible so you can enjoy life again with your new prosthetic joint.
If you need a joint replacement, call the Orthopaedic Specialists team today or request an appointment online at one of our convenient locations in Nashville, Tennessee.