Don’t let myths about joint replacement keep you in pain

By Adam Klein, MD

Are you living with chronic hip or knee pain? Don’t let myths about joint replacement stand in your way of a better quality of life. Our highly-trained experts at the WVU Medicine Bone and Joint Hospital use the most modern techniques and joint implant material to provide you with a better outcome and a shorter recovery.

Dr. Adam Klein

Myth: I’ll learn to live with joint pain. It’s part of aging.
If hip or knee pain significantly impacts your daily routine and quality of life, it may be time to think about joint replacement surgery. Hip and knee replacement can be highly effective at relieving arthritic pain and stiffness. Talk to your doctor to determine if this is the right treatment for you.

Myth: I’m too old or young for joint replacement.
Age is not the main factor in decision-making for joint replacement surgery. We will evaluate your overall health to properly determine if you can tolerate the procedure and recovery.

Myth: There is a long recovery period.
You’ll be back on your feet the day of surgery. Most patients are permitted to place all of their weight on the new joint and walk after surgery. This helps speed the recovery process. Just a few hours after the surgery is complete and your anesthesia wears off, we’ll begin physical therapy. The vast majority of patients spend only a night or two in the hospital, and some patients go home the day of surgery. Rehab or a skilled nursing facility may be necessary for patients who live alone and have no one who can stay with them for a few days after discharge.

Myth: I won’t be able to go back to work for a while.
This depends on what kind of work you do. If you perform sedentary work, you can return to work in just a few days. If your work requires getting up and down frequently, you may need four to six weeks off. Warehouse workers need eight to 12 weeks off. Roofers and coal miners may need up to 12-16 weeks off. 

Myth: I won’t be able to exercise or play sports anymore.
You can enjoy low-impact activities like golf, doubles tennis, swimming, cycling, hiking, power walking, and even skiing. We advise against sprinting and jumping activity.

Myth: Joint replacement must be redone in 10 years.
Younger and more active patients will wear the joint replacement out sooner than older more sedentary patients, but overall, 90 percent of joint implants survive at least 15 years. Both knee and hip replacements can last 20 years or longer.

Make an appointment: 855-WVU-CARE