With one in four adults in the U.S. suffering from chronic joint pain, the recent restrictions on elective surgeries due to COVID-19 have been particularly difficult.
This is especially true for those in need of joint replacement procedures, who are often suffering greatly as they await surgery. For those impacted by chronic, debilitating joint pain, this surgery isn’t truly elective — it can be essential to their quality of life.
Sadly, those in need of joint replacement surgery have been without ideal options for relief in recent months, as they have waited for surgical regulations to ease in their state, or potentially because they are concerned about going to a hospital or surgical center during the pandemic.
And while the pandemic has certainly complicated matters, even in “normal” times many people struggle with joint pain for years before moving forward with surgery. Some are afraid of the post-operative rehabilitation process while others hesitate because of the perceived commitment needed for post-operative physical therapy. This pain can have a significant impact on their quality of life; in a Gallup survey, 55% of adult joint replacement candidates said joint pain holds them back from leading a normal life through activities such as driving, participating in sports, exercising or activities with friends and family.
Why Further Delay Your Joint Replacement Surgery?
The good news? Many local health authorities have allowed joint replacement surgeries to resume, so that patients can get relief from chronic, debilitating joint pain and improve their quality of life. It’s important to know that hospitals and outpatient surgery centers offering joint replacement surgery have implemented safety protocols and procedures to minimize risk of COVID-19. Outpatient surgery centers may also offer additional peace of mind, as some patients can be discharged on the same day as their surgery and recover at home instead of spending additional time in the hospital.
“The decision to move forward with a joint replacement surgery can be intimidating at any time, so it is understandable that people in need of these procedures may be hesitant to do so during COVID-19,” says Dr. Trevor Pickering, a reconstructive Orthopedic Surgery Specialist in Madison, MS. “However, I want to encourage people suffering with joint pain to feel confident about moving forward with joint replacement during this time — there are a tremendous amount of protocols in place designed to keep you safe, and options for remote care with your physician to help you rehabilitate from home.”
If you have chronic, debilitating pain, and you are among the many Americans who are considering scheduling or rescheduling a postponed joint replacement procedure, here are a few additional facts to consider:
- Joint replacement surgery can help people with joint pain achieve greater mobility and freedom. It is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S., with more than one million procedures performed annually.
- Many recent innovations have been made in the field of joint replacement, such as robotics designed to help specially trained surgeons with accuracy in implant placement. There are also digital health platforms for patient/provider communication pre- and post-surgery. For example, mymobility® app* is a digital platform that works through the iPhone® mobile device and Apple Watch® wristband to help your surgeon communicate with you before, during and after your surgery and virtually monitor your care and recovery and allow you to perform at-home rehabilitation exercises. Encrypted messaging with your health care provider is intended to help avoid unnecessary in-person office appointments.
- Delaying such surgery can also affect caregivers who often take on the stress and added responsibilities of caring for someone with severe joint pain.
Whether you’ve put off your joint replacement surgery or haven’t yet scheduled, now is the time to take action to address your joint pain, so you can get back to enjoying your daily life. Visit www.TheReadyPatient.com for important information on joint replacement surgery and to locate a joint replacement specialist near you.
iPhone and Apple Watch are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the US and other countries.
*Patients must have a compatible iPhone to use the mymobility mobile app; not all patients are suitable for therapy at home.
Results are not necessarily typical, indicative, or representative of all recipient patients. Results will vary due to health, weight, activity and other variables. Not all patients are candidates for this product and/or procedure. Only a medical professional can determine the treatment appropriate for your specific condition. Appropriate post-operative activities and restrictions will differ from patient to patient. Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risk of implant wear, infection, loosening, breakage or failure, any of which could require additional surgery.
As the manufacturer of medical devices, Zimmer Biomet does not practice medicine. All questions concerning your diagnosis and treatment options must be directed to your doctor. All content herein is protected by copyright, trademarks and other intellectual property rights, as applicable, owned by or licensed to Zimmer Biomet or its affiliates unless otherwise indicated, and must not be redistributed, duplicated or disclosed, in whole or in part, without the express written consent of Zimmer Biomet. ©2020 Zimmer Biomet.
 Gallup. The 2017 Gallup Study of Joint Replacement Surgical Candidates. May 2017.
 Etkin CD, Springer BD. The American Joint Replacement Registry-the first 5 years. Arthroplast Today. 2017;3(2):67-69. Published 2017 Mar 14. doi:10.1016/j.artd.2017.02.002
 Longo UG, Matarese M, Arcangeli V, et al. Family Caregiver Strain and Challenges When Caring for Orthopedic Patients: A Systematic Review. J Clin Med. 2020;9(5):1497. Published 2020 May 16. doi:10.3390/jcm9051497