Have you ever thought twice about leaving the house because you don’t want to deal with pain in your knee or hip. It probably won’t surprise you that joint pain is a common reason for feeling that way. In fact, almost 25% of adults in the United States have arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Over half of people with arthritis are of working age, which means they may be limited in the type of work they do because it is too painful to walk from a parking lot to a building or climb the stairs to an office.
According to WebMD, even people in their 30s may begin to experience osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis associated with the natural wearing away of joint cartilage through daily use — so old age is not the only sign that aches and pains may be connected to arthritis.
“Potential signs could include chronic swelling or inflammation in the joint, among other symptoms,” said Joshua Johnston, an orthopedic surgery specialist with St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood. “The most important thing a patient can do is have a conversation with their doctor about joint health and the pain they may be experiencing.”
Advances in joint replacement
There are more than 1 million hip and knee replacement procedures performed every year in the U.S., with even higher numbers expected as Baby Boomers age, according to research in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
“We put a lot of wear and tear on our bodies, especially our joints and bones,” Johnston said. “Over the past few years, some individuals and their physicians may have delayed or deferred certain orthopedic procedures, such as knee and hip replacements. While understandable, these delays can have consequences, such as impaired mobility, persistent aches and pains, and increased use of medications.”
While joint replacements have been happening for over 100 years, the procedure is continually being improved upon by doctors and researchers. For example, the Mako SmartRobotics treatment from medical technology company Stryker has made joint replacements safer and more effective.
It uses three-dimensional CT scans to help a doctor see anatomy clearly and make a personalized surgery plan. It also uses a technology called AccuStop, which helps a surgeon cut precisely without unnecessary cuts to healthy bone.
“Mako has been associated with less pain, less need for opiate analgesics, less need for inpatient physical therapy, and a reduced length of hospital stay when compared to manual techniques,” Johnston said.
The procedure is highly effective, with 96% of Mako partial knee replacement patients reporting that they were satisfied or very satisfied in a three-year follow-up survey.
The data insights provided by Mako SmartRobotics also shows surgeons a comprehensive view of their performance over time and teaches ways to improve patient satisfaction. This information helps surgeons stay focused on patients and invested in their recovery.
Tacoma Rainiers fans can earn free tickets
Tacoma Rainiers fans — including Silver Sluggers members and anyone else who is interested — can learn more about how advanced technology like the Mako SmartRobotics treatment can keep people with joint pain active.
Johnston will teach a free seminar at Cheney Stadium on Sept. 15 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be provided, and everyone attending will receive an undated ticket voucher to be used for a future game during the 2022 Minor League Baseball regular season.
Seating is limited for the event, so learn more and register at stryker.link/tacoma to save a spot.