If you think your doctor is wrong in saying joint replacements aren’t for you (too young, overweight, etc.), there’s no harm in seeking a second or even third opinion. You live in and know your body better than anyone.
If your doctor does recommend joint replacement, ask lots of questions. You won’t learn anything if you don’t ask. Asking to see a joint replacement model doesn’t hurt either.
Joint replacement is painful and poses risks just like any other surgical procedures. Make sure to learn its risks and benefits.
Your bad days following surgery won’t last forever. Be patient. Think of the lesser pain you’ll be in and not missing hearing your joints crack/grind every morning once completely healed!
Good days lie ahead… you’ll turn the corner when least expected.
Don’t be afraid of mobility aids; they’re temporary 98 percent of the time.
Don’t let the large amount of bruising frighten you. It’s only blood rising to the surface once you’re out of bed and moving.
Physical therapy is the greatest thing to happen post-op, though you may not think likewise in the early stages.
Ice, not heat, should be used on your new joint(s) as needed.
You will deal with swelling for some time. Ice is especially essential in this stage.
Be aware some adjustments may be in order: kneeling not recommended, antibiotic treatment before surgical/dental procedures, etc. Not everyone will have to make such adjustments, so speak with your doctor beforehand.
Your joint(s) may sometimes feel “heavy” several months (or years) following surgery. Relax; it’s normal, especially when it rains, is humid/bitter cold, or you went overboard with physical activity, to name a few examples.
You don’t have to answer strangers’ questions, but it’s okay to do so only if you feel comfortable.
There’s no shame in showing your scars. They are your badges of honor.
The people who support you are awesome.
You are allowed to complain, but giving up is not an option.