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Osteoarthritis - Surgery

Surgery choices continued...

Small joint surgerySmall joint surgery. Surgery is more common on the larger joints, such as the hip and the knee. But if pain in the small joints of the hands or feet is so bad that the person can't use those joints, surgery may help.

A newer procedure for arthritis of the knee uses a small cup shaped like a "C." It's placed in the joint space of the inner knee and acts as a cushion for the joint. It may help delay surgery to replace the knee.

What to think about

Before deciding to have surgery

If you're in poor health or have certain health problems, you may not be able to have surgery. Your doctor can help you decide if surgery is right for you.

Here are some things to think about if you're thinking about surgery:

  • After surgery, most people are able to go back to doing their daily tasks and sports with less pain.
  • You will need several months of physical therapy to get the best use of your joint.
  • Replacement joints typically last 10 to 20 years. You may need another surgery if the new joint wears out.
  • If you have already lost a lot of your strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, and ability to be active before you have surgery, then after the surgery you might have a harder time returning to your normal activities.

For help deciding whether to have joint replacement surgery, see:

dplink.gif Arthritis: Should I Have Hip Replacement Surgery?
dplink.gif Arthritis: Should I Have Knee Replacement Surgery?
Arthritis: Should I Have Shoulder Replacement Surgery?

If you decide to have surgery

In the days or weeks before your surgery, talk to your doctor about what you need to do to get ready for your return home. For example, you may need to arrange for someone to drive you home and to help you after your surgery. Or you may need to make changes to your home, such as removing small rugs, to help you move around.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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