Joint Pain Relief
In need of a joint replacement or joint repair in San Antonio, TX? Dr. Peter Holmes, Double Board- Certified in both Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine will diagnosis your problem and find the right solutions for you.
When you have a joint so swollen and stiff that walking, climbing stairs, taking a bath, getting in and out of chairs, or even sleeping is difficult, you need, not want, to get some arthritis pain relief.
If, with Dr. Holmes’ guidance, you’ve tried the laundry list of non-invasive arthritis treatments — changing your diet and exercise regimens, using walking aids like canes or braces, trying physical therapy, and taking pain medications — and you’re still in a desperate state, allowing the Doctor to perform the joint replacement in San Antonio, TX, may be the best pain relief solution for you.
The Amazing Benefits To Having Joint Replacement In San Antonio, TX
- Almost all joint replacement surgeries dramatically improve patients’ lives — offering arthritis pain relief, restored range of motion, and a return to most or all “normal” activities.
- Better technology. In the past, doctors believed that the older you were, the better a candidate you would be for joint replacement surgery. But in recent years, artificial joints, called prostheses, have evolved to the point that they can withstand more stress and wear-and-tear, allowing them to last about 10 to 15 years.
If you are considering having a joint replacement in San Antonio, TX, this procedure should not be taken lightly. While complications occur fewer than 2 percent of the time, there are still risks with joint replacement surgery.
“Dr. Peter Holmes is an excellent Orthopedic Surgeon. He gave my life back when he did my knee replacements. I will forever be thankful to him for recommending it..It took me a couple of years of pain before I listened to him…Now I am free of pain and I can’t thank him enough for doing such a great job..I recommend Dr. Holmes to anyone who wants to enjoy life again and get rid of your pain…Thanks again, Dr. Holmes and God bless you and your staff…”
“I’ve had knee problems for the past year or two we did x-rays and Dr. Holmes looked at my kneecaps and said there’s a problem there and so he gave me a couple shots put me on my way and told me I better start walking. He is super with bedside manners. Great personality as well and he was right on with my treatment. My knees feel feel great now. Thank you Dr. Holmes. And thank you for talking care of our military. Bill Whitehurst PS he did to total knee replacements on my wife as well”
What are the risks of joint replacement?
- Infection. Infection is always a risk with surgery and can occur anytime from immediately after surgery up until years later.
- Blood clots. To prevent blood clots from forming, patients are often given compression stockings to wear post-surgery as well as exercises to do that will promote blood flow. Some patients may be asked to take blood thinners as well.
- Loosening of the new joint. This can cause excess pain that may require additional surgery to fix.
- Dislocation of the new joint. Usually, dislocation can be fixed if the patient wears a special brace. Further surgery is not usually necessary.
- Wear and tear. Nothing stays brand new and some wear and tear on your prosthesis is expected. If the prosthesis becomes loose, however, additional surgery may be necessary.
- Nerve and blood vessel injury. Nerves and/or blood vessels around the replaced joint can be damaged during surgery. This type of damage is rare and often improves on its own over time.
- Joint stiffening. Sometimes the soft tissues around a new joint will harden, which makes it difficult to move. Medications or therapies can help prevent this from happening.
After having your joint replacement in San Antonio, TX, recovery usually takes a month or more and can be painful and time-consuming.
What To Expect From Recovery And Physical Therapy After Joint Replacement Surgery
Schedule your physical therapy in advance. If Dr. Holmes expects physical therapy (PT) to be part of your rehab, make plans ahead of time to learn where it will take place and how you will get there (since you won’t be able to drive, you will have to find transportation). Accept that physical therapy can be painful.
Plan on using assistive devices. Since most home health equipment is delivered to your house, work with your medical team in advance to make sure they have all the information to make this happen smoothly.
Address other medical issues in advance. Because infection control is a concern with joint replacement, make sure you take care of any dental health issues or bladder and bowel concerns before surgery.
What Tests Will I Have Before My Joint Replacement Surgery?
The tests we will need vary somewhat with the patient’s age, health history, and other variables. This preadmission testing will be within 30 days prior to your surgery. Then you will be evaluated and cleared by your Family Doctor (PCP). The tests we require include;
- Physical exam
- Detailed questionnaire
- Blood work …
- Coagulation testing
- Baseline metabolic analysis for kidney, liver, and electrolyte function
- EKG to determine heart health
- Chest XRAY
How long before you can use stairs after joint replacement?
This, of course, depends on which joint you had replaced. Obviously, shoulder replacements don’t need to worry about stairs too much, although firmly holding onto the handrail is a must! Every patient also recovers at different rates, so there is no “normal” timeframe for using stairs.
How Do I Know if I Need Joint Replacement?
All joints in the body endure exceptional amounts of stress. The knee and hip joints, the latter of which is the largest joint in the body, are used for nearly every activity you perform in your daily life. It doesn't take a serious injury for one of these joints to wear down. Several factors can contribute, from a very active lifestyle to your genetics to your weight. In most cases, doctors take the most conservative approach possible when dealing with indications of joint degradation. You may start to wonder about the benefits of joint replacement if you don't receive much relief from medication and activity modifications.
Some of the signs that it's to your advantage to consider joint replacement include:
- You have chronic or recurring pain around the joint
- You experience activity-related pain and stiffness
- You have difficulty exercising or completing certain movements
- You're kept awake or woken up by pain around the joint
These are just a few of a more exhaustive list of signs that joint replacement may be a good decision. To some degree, the choice is up to you. However, it's important to keep in mind that the more degradation that's occurred in the joint, the more complex your surgery and recovery may be.
When Will I Be Fully Recovered from My Joint Replacement?
Like all surgical procedures, joint replacement recovery occurs in stages. To be fully recovered means that you're able to resume all or the vast majority of your normal activities. There are general guidelines for this. However, it's important to keep in mind that all patients are different and that there are many factors that will influence your recovery process.
Typically, we expect hip replacement recovery to last two to six months, meaning that, after six months, you'll be back or almost back to your normal activity level. Knee replacement tends to take longer to reach full recovery. In this instance, it may take up to an entire year for you to feel like your best self again. Knee replacement is interesting. Patients often feel like the process is taking too long due to occasional pains here and there, clicking sounds, or other periodic interruptions to their normal activity. Then, one day, it's as if all side effects disappear and they notice they can do pretty much whatever they'd like in terms of exercise and physical movement. Here, too, though, the degree of joint degradation may influence how mobile the joint is once it has completed the healing cycle.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Improve My Healing After Joint Replacement?
There are steps you can take to promote optimal recovery after joint replacement, and those steps actually begin before your procedure!
- Stop smoking well before surgery. This is part of your mandatory pre-surgical plan.
- Exercise. Your body will be better prepared for tissue recovery if you're at a stable weight and relatively physically fit before your procedure.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Foods that are abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats can boost your immune system and your body's capacity for tissue and nerve regeneration.
What to expect during physical therapy
The average hospital stay for a joint replacement is two days after surgery. While in the hospital, you’ll start physical therapy sessions immediately. The idea is to start moving the joint as soon as possible to keep scar tissue from limiting motion. Once you leave the hospital, you will have outpatient therapy that will last 4 weeks. Outpatient therapy gives the best results, but home therapy is possible.
As you would expect, these schedules vary with the joint replaced and the individual patient.
Do I Need Someone To Be With Me Full-time When I Go Home After Surgery?
Yes. Every patient should plan on having someone in the house or apartment for at least one full week. We’ll pair you with a case manager, who will make sure your plans for recovery at home are fully thought out and planned. You might need assistance walking, getting to the bathroom, and for various things you’ll need to do such as dressing. This is not the time to be a lone ranger.
Injections for Joint Pain Relief
There are injectables that can alleviate pain, but these are usually only temporary fixes. Still, they can be used to delay a joint replacement.
- Hyaluronic acid — Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the human body and one of its functions is to lubricate the joints. Injections of hyaluronic acid may help with shock absorption and lubrication, but these will not overcome basic damage within the joint and are no longer recommended by the clinical practice guidelines of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
- Corticosteroids — Steroid injections into the area of inflammation can provide relief for a period of weeks. Dr. Holmes has no limit to the number of injections in cases where total joint replacement is the only other option.
Call Dr. Holmes For Joint Replacement In San Antonio!
Dr. Peter Holmes and his professional staff at Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery in San Antonio, TX will help guide you towards the best treatment for you and will follow you through to full recovery. Call (210) 696-9000 today for a joint replacement consultation at either our San Antonio or Schertz location.