Joint replacements are on the rise these days, not only because the surgeries offered are much less invasive than they were previously, but also because older adults are more apt to seek out the surgeries so as not to interrupt the active lifestyles that they’ve become accustomed to.
Another more sinister reason linked to the rise in knee and hip replacements is obesity - and in fact, it's a primary reason that knee replacements are actually rising faster than hip replacements. Ninety-five percent of the increase in demand for knee replacement surgeries is due to weight problems. What's more, younger generations are starting to seek out these surgeries because of this reason. A healthy diet and an active lifestyle are key in weight loss and reducing the risk of joint damage.
The good news is, after a joint replacement surgery most patients will see a major improvement in their mobility and pain relief. With the right doctors and the right post-surgery rehabilitation, patients can generally return to the quality of life they had before the joint deterioration. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active with the help of a new joint can help prevent or delay further problems or replacements.
This article first appeared in the July 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.