End the pain: Houston Methodist Clear Lake offers free joint replacement information session

By: Carla Medlenka
| Published 11/13/2018

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If you suffer from pain in the knees, shoulders or hips, you’re not alone – joint pain is a common condition, especially for people over the age of 50.

But there is good news – you don’t have to live with the pain.

“The most common cause of joint pain is osteoarthritis, which is simply a breakdown of the cartilage that provides the protective cushioning in our joints,” says Juan Serrato, Jr., M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Clear Lake. “It’s a natural part of aging, but unfortunately it leads to pain, stiffness and swelling.”

Over time, osteoarthritis can be debilitating, leading to a loss of mobility and even an end to activities such as tennis, golf, gardening, running or walking.

“It’s not unusual to see patients who can no longer participate in their favorite hobbies or even play with their grandchildren,” says Serrato. “Arthritis is a serious, painful issue that impacts many people’s quality of life and because it limits exercise and mobility, its impact on overall health can be serious.”

One effective solution is joint replacement surgery, which is growing in popularity thanks to an aging, active population. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, by 2030, more than 3.5 million knee replacements will be performed in the U.S. each year. And the patients are getting younger; half of those receiving knee replacements today are under the age of 65, and most are still in the workforce.

“The main goal of joint replacement surgery is to reduce or eliminate the chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis, so you can perform day-to-day activities and regain lost mobility,” says Serrato. “Following surgery and physical therapy, most patients find they are pain-free and able to function physically much better.”

To speed rehabilitation, Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital offers the Rapid Recovery Program that enables some patients to reduce their hospital stay and return to activity sooner than ever before.

“We use an intravenous sedation during the surgery itself, rather than general anesthesia, which means the patient wakes up more alert and is able to begin physical therapy almost immediately,” says Serrato. “This provides a significant advantage and allows patients to return home more quickly and complete their recovery where they feel most comfortable.”

Today’s customized, high-tech replacement joints typically last 20-25 years and generally allow for pain-free movement. They are stronger, lighter and more durable than replacement joints of the past.

“Joint replacement can make a significant positive impact for people who are suffering,” says Serrato. “The first step to a pain-free life is a discussion with a qualified orthopedic surgeon who can help you decide if joint replacement surgery is right for you.”

JOINT REPLACEMENT INFORMATION SESSION

Join orthopedic surgeon Juan Serrato, Jr., M.D., of Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at Clear Lake to learn how joint replacement surgery can free you from pain and allow you to return to an active lifestyle. Dr. Serrato will describe current best practices in joint replacement surgery; provide guidance on determining if you are a good surgical candidate; and offer tips on how to approach surgery for the best results. He will also discuss successful methods of rehabilitation, including Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital’s Rapid Recovery Program. The event is free of charge and is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Main Lobby at Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital in Nassau Bay. Light refreshments will be served. Please register at houstonmethodist.org/events or call 713.333.8899.