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Benefits of knee replacement surgery

Living with arthritis

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years, but may progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes which may be visible, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray.

The burden of arthritis

Chronic arthritis is life limiting. The majority of people with arthritis experience pain most days, which seriously affects their quality of life. Arthritis limits movement and a quarter of people living with osteoarthritis cannot do normal activities because of their arthritis. This can have an impact on the ability to work, sleep and exercise and increases the risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and other health conditions.

Statistics available for individual countries all agree that the impact of arthritis costs millions of pounds: to sufferers of arthritis, due to their ability to work or through early retirement; to healthcare systems, including costs of treatment for arthritis and associated co-morbidities (additional conditions associated with symptoms and impact of the arthritis); and to the wider economy, for example costs of reduced work productivity and sickness absence from work.

The value of joint replacement surgery

Considering the lifetime direct and indirect costs of this chronic disease the true economic burden of chronic arthritis is underestimated, but the benefits of providing joint replacement surgery to the many thousands that require it far outweigh the cost of surgery.

For the individual sufferers of chronic arthritis, successful joint replacement provides a new lease of life. Following a relatively short recovery period and ongoing adherence to physiotherapy, patients can return to normal, pain-free, independent, active life, often including sports. A renewed ability to manage one’s own health and well-being brings life-extending benefits. The vast majority of patients do not require further treatment for the condition for many years and many do not require further treatment in their lifetime.

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