Study Revealing that Women Fair as Well as or better than Men in Total Joint Replacement Surgeries Backs Up SRO’s Convictions for Overall Recovery Rates

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Santa Rosa Orthopaedics understands that total joint replacement is one of the most successful contemporary surgical procedures for both men and women - thanks to refined surgical techniques, improved implant characteristics, aggressive physical rehabilitation and a focus on pain management.

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Gary A. Stein, M.D.

Prosthesis technology has advanced significantly over the years, and while artificial joints may not be permanent, today’s patients can expect their artificial joints to last for 10-20 years or longer.

A new study presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons revealed that although women may wait longer to undergo total joint replacement – as much as 15 years longer - they are actually less likely to have complications related to their surgery or to require revision surgery. While overall rates of serious complications were low for both men and women, the outcomes of this study reveal that complications are actually lower for women than for men for both hip and knee replacement. Total hip (THR) and total knee replacement (TKR) are common surgical treatments for advanced arthritis, which causes continuous pain, limited function and reduced quality of life.

Cartilage is the Key to Healthy Joints

Total joint replacement surgery (TJR), also known as arthroplasty, is performed to repair severe injuries or to replace joints destroyed by arthritis and other bone diseases. TJR is performed to replace the ends of both bones in a damaged joint to create new joint surfaces. Weight-bearing joints are naturally under the greatest strain and are more likely to lose protective cartilage over time, particularly the hips and knees. Shoulder joints can also develop painful conditions caused by arthritis that may require total joint replacement surgery. Hand and elbow joints endure an extreme amount of daily stress that can damage cartilage and are also subject to bone diseases.

Cartilage between bones naturally protects them from rubbing together, but as it begins to deteriorate due to wear or the aging process bones can grind against each other, resulting in severe pain and swelling. Total joint replacement surgery is designed to alleviate these symptoms and as a result, significantly improves the patient’s quality of life.

“A total joint replacement consists of your surgeon removing the damaged joint and replacing it with a plastic or metal artificial joint called a prosthesis,” explains Dr. Gary Stein, MD, one of ten Santa Rosa Orthopaedics Surgeons specializing in joint replacement. “Prosthesis technology has advanced significantly over the years, and while artificial joints may not be permanent, today’s patients can expect their artificial joints to last for 10-20 years or longer.” Total joint replacement is one of the most successful contemporary surgical procedures for both men and women, thanks to refined surgical techniques, improved implant characteristics, aggressive physical rehabilitation and a focus on pain management, which have all contributed to the success of TJR.

As the number of baby boomers reaching middle age increases in the United States, so does the annual rate of joint replacement surgeries, particularly artificial hip and knee replacements. About 332,000 total hip replacements and 719,000 total knee replacements are performed in the United States each year according to the latest statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control. At this rate by 2030 those numbers will grow to 600,000 hip replacements and 3 million knee replacements. The long-term success for total hip and total knee surgery continues to rise with the number of surgeries, currently exceed 95 percent.

Why Both Men and Women Choose to Have TJR Surgery

According to the figures reported by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons last month, women who underwent total hip replacement were significantly older than males typically 70 years vs. 65 years, however, there was no difference in age between male and female patients undergoing total knee replacement which revealed a median age 68 for both. While women may wait longer to have total hip replacement surgery, the main benefit of having any total joint replacement surgery is to eliminate the crippling pain that many patients have endured - frequently for many years.

“In many cases, patients describe how almost immediately after coming out of surgery they find that their arthritic joint pain has completely subsided, “ says Dr. Stein. At SRO both surgeons and physical therapists work together to get patients back to the activities they loved to do before arthritis or joint wear became an issue, helping them to re-establish long term independence and continued livelihood.

An orthopedic surgeon will determine if arthroplasty is the best course of action for patients with chronic joint pain to take. Patients should consider potential risks under the guidance of a qualified physician before making a decision about any joint replacement surgery. The performance of a joint replacement depends on a number of factors and will differ with each patient. At Santa Rosa Orthopaedics, the full team of surgeons, physical therapists and support staff understands how disheartening it can be to deal with constant joint pain, which is why they take a team approach to make both office visits and recovery times as comfortable as possible. SRO surgeons have the experience and combined breadth of knowledge to guarantee the best possible results for total joint replacement. To learn more visit their website or call 707-546-1922

Resources:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150326085948.htm

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John Beilharz
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