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The Evolution of Joint Replacement

Joint replacement research and pre/post-surgical practices have come a long way in the past few decades, undergoing many changes that have ultimately benefitted patients. Here are several significant changes we've seen so far:

1. More People are Receiving Joint Replacements

Joint replacement has proved to be one of the most profitable and effective medical procedures. Approximately 1 million total joint replacement surgeries are performed in the United States each year, and experts believe this number will increase to 4 million by the year 2030.

2. Joint Replacement Patients are Getting Younger

The average age of a hip replacement patient has decreased from over 66 to under 65 years old, while the average age of a knee replacement patients has decreased from 68 to under 66. This younger demographic could be a result of increasing obesity or an increased desire for an active lifestyle with older adults.

3. Replacements Last Longer

During the 1960s and 70s, metal and plastic parts were commonly used for joint replacements. However, today's materials are often made of much more wear-resistant materials such as titanium or ceramic. Total joint replacements can last approximately 15-20 years.

4. Quicker Recovery Time

Before, patients spent about a week or so in the hospital after hip or knee replacement surgery. Now, patients can receive physical therapy the day of their surgery, allowing them to be discharged earlier and resume their normal activities at a much faster pace.

5. Better Pain Management

Surgeons are now using injections around the joint during the surgery, which has helped to ease pain the day after the procedure. Many surgeons are also leaning more toward regional anesthesia, which data suggests reduces complications, pain, and amount of narcotics patients take after surgery. This can eliminate the uncomfortable side effects that often come with these drugs and provide a more comfortable experience for the patient.

Orthopedic Surgeons Here For You

At McLean County Orthopedics, our trained orthopedic surgeons can assist you with surgical and noninvasive surgical options to relieve joint pain. We are with you every step of the way, from your initial appointment to your recovery! Call us today or visit our website to learn more about your options. 309-663-6461 

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