Your orthopedic healthcare professional has recommended you undergo surgery to repair a broken bone or an elective joint replacement procedure — now what?
Rita Roy, M.S., M.D.
Member, United States Bone and Joint Initiative Executive Council, Chief Executive Officer, National Spine Health Foundation
Bone and joint diseases affect nearly 75% of people aged 65 and over. Injuries that lead to bone breaks are among the most common conditions reported. For some, wear and tear make elective joint replacement surgery of the hip, knee, spine, or other joint a good option. These new, artificial parts are giving patients pain-free, active lives.
Can I prevent further bone breaks after surgery?
Anyone aged 50 or above who suffers a broken bone requiring surgery should determine their bone strength. Weak bones might indicate osteoporosis, a disease where bones become brittle and fragile.
Ask your doctor about getting a bone density test to measure your bone strength to check for osteoporosis and the need for an exercise, nutritional, and/or treatment plan to stop further bone loss, which may help prevent another fracture.
After joint replacement surgery, how can I ensure the best outcome?
Your doctor may recommend using your new joint as soon as possible after surgery despite some temporary pain in the new joint. You can manage pain with medications, and you’ll likely start physical therapy right away to strengthen the muscles around the new joint.
Following your doctor’s instructions will help you get back to normal sooner, increasing the likelihood that your functional status will be even better than before surgery.
For more information on the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative’s bone and joint health education programs, please visit www.usbji.org.