There is one key, unavoidable factor: pain, pain and more pain. An operation becomes the choice when other treatment options like physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and infiltration have been exhausted. Surgery should therefore be seen as the last step.
There is no hard and fast rule. Much depends on whether we are dealing with a fracture or a worn joint affecting the cartilage more than the bone. After a fracture, a young patient undergoing limited physiotherapy may experience a complete return to normality after two to three months.
Yes, in most cases mobility can be restored with adequate postoperative care and exercise.
Younger patients recover more easily, but it always depends on the type of fracture. For example, surgery on a fractured bone generally has a better outcome than a fracture affecting a joint.
It’s best not to rush it. The more one tries to force the process, the less guarantees there are of achieving a full recovery.
Ideally, one should practise moderate sports which allow for bone regeneration and avoid impacts. Walking is better than running, and running on a treadmill is better than trail running. Of course, swimming is a very complete form of exercise.
A lot. A healthy diet is essential. Vitamin D also plays a role and is provided by sunlight, but sometimes supplements can help avoid osteoporosis.
Most definitely. Many people with osteoarthritis of the knee, for example, manage to avoid or delay getting a prosthesis when they lose weight.
It can be helpful when there is no structural illness or significant osteoarthritis present. It maintains the joint in an optimal environment.
These are materials that specialist surgeons use in hip and knee operations. They are biocompatible and allow a prosthesis to be attached to the bone much more effectively. One example is tantalum, a material that is more porous than titanium and that permits the bone to integrate better.
An advanced technique which reduces the size of an incision, thereby resulting in lower blood loss during surgery.
This represents a further and no doubt useful step, but it is essential that a human doctor always take the leading role during an operation. Robots provide new technologies and, used intelligently, can support specialised surgeons.