Information for Patients

Information for patients photo

2 DECISION FOR SURGERY


Many patients come to see me at the time that a decision for surgery needs to be made. Many patients will have been treated by medical means but as these fail surgery is indicated. 20 years ago when I first became a consultant the criteria for surgery were different to the ones now. I think there is no simple answer to when surgery is required and I liken it to a jigsaw. I think there are many pieces to the jigsaw. Perhaps the most important piece is how much pain there is within the joint. There are however other pieces to the jig-saw, For example how stiff the joint is, the patient’s age, the general health.
As we become increasingly confident about the success of joint replacements, there is a trend for surgery to be offered earlier than it was years ago.  It is still important, however, that all the pieces of the jigsaw are considered in making the decision for surgery.  It is therefore a decision which is made by the patient following discussion with myself.