When I had my first joint replacement 30-plus years ago, I remember feeling alone. I remember hoping for the best outcome but not really knowing what to expect along the way. There was no such thing as social media back then, where patients could interact and exchange war stories. Like most patients who go through joint replacement surgery, in the end I found that the pain relief was life-changing.
Many people put off joint replacement surgery. Did you know that, on average, people suffering from severe hip or knee osteoarthritis wait 7 to 11 years before they have joint replacement surgery? Many people who ultimately experience the relief that joint replacement surgery can provide say they wish they had not waited so long.
New York Times bestselling author, Ellyn Spragins, who penned the popular book series "Letters to My Younger Self®" has teamed up with Dr. Steven Barnett, a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, to introduce the "Had I Known Then" booklet -- an educational campaign that includes several letters written by people who experienced the journey to wellness via joint replacement surgery. The letters are written to their younger selves and describe how surgery gave them back their lives. I was impressed by the "Had I Known Then" booklet. I wish it had existed many years ago when I could have used the encouragement. If you are contemplating joint replacement surgery, be sure to read the booklet. Even if you are years beyond having joint replacement surgery, the message of fighting for a better quality of life is not to be missed. Check out Had I Known Then.
- What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?
- Why Patients Delay or Decline Knee Replacement Surgery
- Reader Stories: Decision to Have Joint Replacement
- Readers Respond: Tell Us About Your Joint Replacement Surgery
Photo by Steven Reed (iStockphoto)