Everything you need to know about joint replacements
When joint damage or pain limits even the simplest of activities such as sitting or standing, a joint replacement may be the answer. But what is a joint replacement, how is it done, and how to find a policy that suits your needs? Find out here.
What Is a Joint Replacement?
Joint replacement surgery or replacement arthroplasty, is a procedure where parts of damaged joints are replaced with a device known as a prosthesis. A prosthesis is designed to replicate the movement of a normal joint. Simply put, the patient opts to get their joint replaced with an artificial one. Joint replacements are usually done on the hip and knee, however the surgery can be performed on other joints, such as the wrist, ankle, elbow, and shoulder. The surgery is only recommended when treatments like therapy, exercises, and medications do not help in relieving pain and facilitating the joint movement. The joints are also replaced when they are damaged due to accidents, deformity, fractures, diseases, or arthritis.
How to Prepare for Joint Replacement Surgery?
According to OrthoInfo, the patient must prepare themselves by both physical and psychological means for the joint replacement surgery. Some tips that will help the patient include:
- Speaking to your surgeon. Ask them what you should expect before, after, and during the surgery.
- Keep all your personal and medical data in one place.
- Get into the best physical shape as it reduces the complications and shortens recovery time.
- If you have diabetes, attempt to keep this condition under control.
- Ensure that the doctor has all your information for accurate decision-making.
- Arrange for help to manage your first few days at home after the surgery.
- Have a family member or friend check in with you daily.
What Happens During Joint Replacement?
The complete joint replacement surgery can take up to 1 to 2 hours, depending on which type of joint you’re having replaced, such as hip or knee. During the surgery, the damaged bone is replaced with the prosthetic (new joint) components. Your new joint may be cemented into place, which helps to secure the implant to the bone.
A drain is put in place to remove extra blood and fluids from the surgical area. Finally, the incision is closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.
What Happens After Joint Replacement
Expect to stay in hospital until your pain is at a manageable level and you are able to get out of bed and put tentative pressure on your new joint. This can be anywhere between 3 days to a week.
When you’ve been discharged, your doctor will have arranged for a continuation of physical therapy until your muscle strength and motion improves.
Have You Compared Your Health Insurance Policy?
Before any type of hip, knee or joint replacement surgery, get in touch with your health fund to examine your policy. You will want to talk about agreement hospitals, gap covers, excesses, co-payments and any other queries you may have about your policy. Do you have the right level of cover? There are 36 health funds in Australia and numerous health cover options. Health insurance policies have different limits, rebates, premiums, and works for various services. Therefore, it is important to compare your health cover to ensure that you are on the right plan for your existing needs. To avoid overpaying for your policy, having an expert help you compare is a huge advantage. Health Deal is an Australian Private Health Insurance comparison service that has been helping many people to compare their policies since 2015. With a dedicated and high calibre team, we strive to find Australians a plan that provides better value for money through reduced costs and/or improved benefits. Our service is free, and there will be no exit fees with your current fund.
Additionally we make switching seamless, as we will assist you with all the paperwork. So if either you or any family and friends know they will need joint replacement surgery in the near future, make sure they review their cover today.