Are you ready for surgery? Ask yourself these questions to help your decision-making.
Before you decide to explore surgery, it is important to have a discussion with your doctor. Because joint surgery has risks and requires a major commitment from you, it is not for everyone. You’ll need to assess your need, your ability to withstand the demands involved and your ability to handle the emotional impacts of surgery. To help in your deliberation, we’ve provided some questions to ask yourself.
- Can I bear the pain that I am experiencing now, or does this pain significantly undermine what I’m able to do?
- Have I given up all or most of the activities I enjoy because of pain and other arthritis symptoms?
- How much does pain limit my movements and ability to get around?
- Have my pain and stiffness increased steadily in the past several months to a year?
- Am I prepared to work through the recovery process, including post-surgery exercises and physical therapy if necessary?
- How will surgery help my condition? What level of improvement can I realistically expect following joint surgery?
- Are drugs, exercise and other therapies failing to provide the adequate relief that they have in the past?
- Does my insurance policy fully cover joint surgery and recovery costs, such as at-home nursing care if I need it? Are there out-of-pocket costs that I will have to bear? Can I afford these costs?
- Will I be able to take the necessary time off to recover from surgery? Will my family and/or friends be able to help me if I need them during my recovery?