In the United States, 27 million adults have osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the joint breaks down, causing bones to rub against each other.
Patients with osteoarthritis can experience chronic pain and stiffness, affecting their everyday lives.
For patients who are experiencing pain despite using pain medications and walking supports, joint replacement surgery may be an option. To spread awareness about the effects of osteoarthritis and how joint replacement surgery can help, www.RealLifeTested.com/ sponsored by DePuy Orthopaedics, shared the stories of individuals who have had hip or knee replacements, and offered information for patients considering the surgery.
EmpowHER talked to one patient, Jane Linnell, whose osteoarthritis affected her ability to dance, an activity she loved.
EmpowHER also asked Manish A. Patel, M.D., FAAOS, a board certified orthopedic surgeon, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and director of the Southhampton Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center, about joint replacement surgery and what you should know about joint health.
What are common misconceptions individuals have about joint health?
Dr. Manish Patel:
Many people don’t realize that arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States and a majority of people diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65. Individuals experiencing joint pain continue to put treatment off in the hopes that their joint pain will get better and because they are unaware of their options.
Instead, they live with the pain that limits the activities they enjoy. Individuals take less walks, become dependent on pain medications and start using assistive devices such as canes and walkers.
There is also a misconception about surgery, as people are sometimes unaware that there have been advances in hip and knee replacement surgery since their parent or grandparent had the procedure.