If you have constant pain in your joints, you may consider joint replacement surgery to ease your comfort. But before you make any decisions, make sure you understand the eligibility criteria for joint replacement. Learn more about the factors that determine eligibility for joint replacement surgery in this guide.

The Severity of Your Joint Damage 

If you injure your joints, the damage can range from a small tear in the cartilage to a complete break in the bone. If your injury is relatively mild, you may be a candidate for joint repair surgery. However, if the damage is extensive, you will likely require joint replacement surgery.

Many factors determine the severity of your joint damage, including:

  • The loss of function in your affected joint
  • The extent of any deformity

Generally, you may be a candidate for joint replacement if you have moderate to severe pain that limits your activities. Moreso if your pain persists despite conservative treatments such as medication and physical therapy. You may also be a candidate if you have advanced arthritis or another condition that has destroyed much of the cartilage in your joint.

If you are considering joint replacement, your doctor will evaluate the severity of your joint damage and discuss all your treatment options with you.

Your Age 

Most people associate joint replacement with elderly patients who deal with years of pain and debilitating arthritis. However, an increasing number of young people are undergoing this life-changing surgery.

There are many reasons you might need a joint replacement at a young age. In some cases, it results from an injury or a congenital defect. A young person may also need to undergo joint replacement surgery if they suffer a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. Whatever the reason, joint replacement can offer young people the chance to enjoy a better quality of life.

The surgery itself is relatively straightforward. The damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. In some cases, metal and plastic components are used. Generally, the type of implant that's right for you will be determined by your age, activity level, and overall health.

Joint replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure, but it is not suitable for everyone. To be eligible for joint replacement, you will need to meet specific criteria. These include the severity of your joint damage, age, and overall health. Your doctor will help you determine if a joint replacement is a suitable option for you after evaluating these factors.