There are a number of reasons why you should not dive straight into joint replacement:
- Surgical complications including reactions to the anaesthetics, stroke and heart attack, postoperative infection and chronic postoperative pain. These are all quite common in my opinion.
- Joint replacements may not last a lifetime and can wear out quickly, requiring replacement. It is the second and the third operations that are the really tricky, risky and expensive as compared to the first. So, joint replacement is best timed to last the rest of your life.
- Joint wear can lead to the leaching of exotic metals into the body causing localised tissue damage and wider systemic harm.
- Joint replacement does not cure what may be the root causes of joint degeneration which may include, nutritional deficiencies, heavy metal contamination or damage relating to drugs, such as for blood pressure, depression or asthma and other steroidal medication.
- Take you time: arthritis takes years to develop and a few more months delay while you consider your options will be of no consequences - unless your quality of life is being significantly compromised, if you rely heavily on pain medication and if you lose sleep due to pain.
- Take large doses of a quality glucosamine and chondroitin supplement for at least three months - regardless of the degree of degeneration. Even if you have one or two joints that are beyond repair, your many other joints will benefit from this.
- Contact me to organise some appropriate testing to assess your nutritional and hormonal status, as well as whether or not you have been exposed to toxic elements such as mercury and lead. These tests will identify possible causes of accelerated joint degeneration and help us rid or minimise these.
- If you are on medication I can assist you with determining whether or not the medication is accelerating arthritis. This is common and seldom talked about, possibly because the prescribers of the medication are reluctant to implicate themselves!
- If you are having difficulty with exercise, such as running, which may be stirring up your joints, I can assist you with discovering satisfying alternative activities that are joint-friendly.
Every year of delay in having joint replacement is in your favour, so long as you are not suffering unduly. Medical advances are happening every year with the surgical options to you improving all the time and techniques refined.
To help you with exploring this whole area of joint replacement, I have copied the first few paragraphs of an article by Dr Mario Trucillo about hip replacement surgery:
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