3. You go in for the operation and come out feeling good as new. Wouldn’t that be nice? Having any kind of surgery, especially joint surgery, is quite an involved endeavor, and not an easy one. Joint surgery involves time, money and a commitment to making it work. You’ll need to make preparations before surgery and carefully follow your treatment and recovery program afterward. Surgery can help reduce your pain and improve your range of motion in a joint. But remember: Even after the operation, your joint will still not be the same as it was before you developed arthritis or had your injury.

Successful surgery may greatly improve your mobility and well-being, though, enabling you to be more active and able to do things you may have given up due to pain. The most important factor in achieving that goal is you. If you are willing to maintain your healthy weight and stick to your physical therapy routine, your chances of having a long-term improvement in your joint are much greater.


4. I’m too old for joint surgery. Some people mistakenly believe that if they’re older, their age puts them at increased risk for complications. They may think that their age will prevent them from withstanding the anesthesia or post-surgery recovery efforts. Or they may simply think that age alone prevents them from being a good candidate for the surgery.

 But that isn’t necessarily true. Your overall health and ability to withstand surgery and recovery are more important considerations than your age. In fact, healthy older people are not at any greater risk from surgery than younger people are. They also have an advantage in that they are less likely to outlive the implant and need another when it wears out.

 The most important point is that you should not assume you are either too old or too young for a joint operation. Ask your doctor what he or she thinks and, if necessary, consult an orthopaedic surgeon on your own to get another opinion on your candidacy for joint surgery.

 5. If I decide to have joint surgery, I have to have a total joint replacement. Total joint replacement is an option for people with severe pain and mobility limitations, but it is by no means the only surgical option that can help.

Your orthopaedic surgeon can discuss a number of other surgical options with you, some of which may be more appropriate for your case. Some options are less invasive than total joint replacement. New procedures involve smaller incisions and shorter recovery time, such as arthroscopy, which is often very helpful in relieving pain and improving mobility. Be sure to ask your doctor if there are types of surgery you should think about other than total joint replacement.