Hip and Knee Replacement for Osteoarthritis
A recent Canadian survey of more that 34,000 people revealed
that the need for total hip of knee replacement in people with osteoarthritis
was more than 3 times greater in women than in men. Surprisingly, though, women
were actually less likely to undergo either procedure. Explanations? Perhaps
women have a higher pain threshold or prefer taking medication to resorting
to surgery. Perhaps women have a greater fear of being temporarily disabled
by surgery than men. Or, perhaps women are less likely to discuss their joint
pain with their physicians. If so, they would be less likely to be referred
to an orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation and a recommendation for joint
Patients with osteoarthritis should be aware that surgery is not always the
only option. There are now several prescription medicines to treat osteoarthritis
which have been shown to be more effective than over-the-counter preparations;
and they're not all the same. In addition, a product called Synvisc may help
many patients with osteoarthritis avoid surgery.
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Created: 8/7/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.