Richard Seiden, J.D., is a member of the NPF board of directors. Seiden, who has psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and has had hip, knee and shoulder replacements, wrote “A Patient Perspective on Joint Replacement Surgery” for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons blog in 2018. We are pleased to share excerpts from his article, with the permission of AAOS.
“I am not a medical professional,” Seiden notes. “This article summarizes my own experiences and personal perspectives, so before you apply any of my advice to your own situation, consult your physician. However, if you have joint issues and are considering surgery, the sooner you start doing your homework and preparing, physically and emotionally, the better.”
2 Things You Can Control: Weight and Muscle Tone
Do your best to lose weight prior to the surgery, or to maintain the lowest weight you can, so that you minimize stress on your joints, especially weight-bearing hips and knees.
- See your dentist well before your surgery. In general, you should have no dental procedures performed within six months of your surgery date.
- Schedule a physical exam with your primary care provider two weeks prior to surgery. This should include blood tests, urinalysis, a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram. These are necessary to determine your fitness for surgery.
- Schedule an early time for the surgery, since you will be unable to eat anything after midnight the day before. This will help you minimize anxiety and avoid headaches from lack of food and water.
- Discuss assistive devices with your surgeon or an assistant, including devices for mobility (walker, crutches, cane, sling) and to ease recovery (shower seats, elevated toilet seats, reaching devices).
- Don’t forget home safety. If you can, add bathroom handrails or grab bars, modify or eliminate rugs, relocate wires, clear the floor between your bed and the nearest bathroom and add nightlights.