CMHS Orthopedic Surgeon Shares Strategies for Healthy Joints

Being Mindful of Joint Health Can Help Prevent Joint Replacement Surgery

Common reasons for joint replacement surgery include osteoarthritis due to heredity or injuries to the joint(s).

The most common reasons people need joint replacement surgery are osteoarthritis due to heredity, or a previous injury to the joint.  The surface cartilage wears down and exposes nerve fibers, and the bone-on-bone contact causes pain.  The weight-bearing joints – the hips and knees – are the most problematic.

“Joint replacement surgery is common today,” says Dr. Thomas Golden, a member of the Community Memorial Health System (CMHS) Medical Staff who specializes in orthopedics.  “The success of joint replacement is in the range of 95 percent.”  Dr. Golden says over 1 million joint replacement surgeries are performed annually in the United States, and that number could reach 2 million by 2030 as the population ages.

Five Tips for Healthy Joints

Joint problems can worsen with age, but there are some ways people can protect their joints and hopefully avoid replacement surgery.  Dr. Golden recommends these five tips for healthy joints:

  1. Be protective of your joints, especially problematic joints, and don’t abuse them!  If you’ve had an injury, pay attention to letting it heal adequately and keep activity to a minimum.  Don’t continue to stress the joint if it’s painful.
  2. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables, lean protein, and vitamin-rich foods.
  3. Keep your weight under control.  Obesity increases stress on joints and causes premature arthritis to form.  Knee joints bear the brunt of it in those who are obese.

    Swimming is a great way to exercise with minimal impact on the joints.
  4. If joint supplements seem to help you, go ahead and take them.  They aren’t harmful.  Many people take joint supplements, but they haven’t been proven to have a significant effect; there are just too many other variables that come into play.
  5. Exercise within moderation.  If you’ve had a hip or leg injury, walking, swimming, and bicycling are some low impact forms of exercise that aren’t as hard on the joints as running or weightlifting.  Other good, low-impact forms of exercise that improve flexibility include Yoga and Pilates.  “That kind of movement prevents joint degeneration,” says Dr. Golden.

New Advances in Joint Replacement Surgery

Dr. Thomas Golden is an Orthopedic Surgeon at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura.

If joint replacement surgery and the advancements in this field interest you, be sure to attend Dr. Golden’s free seminar at the Museum of Ventura County on Wednesday March 20th beginning at 6 p.m.  Dr. Golden will discuss what to do if you reach a point where joint pain is so bad that conservative steps like anti-inflammatory medication and/or physical therapy aren’t enough.  Dr. Golden will discuss the newest and most effective ways to perform joint replacement surgery and how these methods reduce recovery time.  CLICK HERE for Dr. Golden’s seminar details and registration information!