Many patients will ask me, "when do I need a joint replacement?" And my response is quite simple. "Nobody needs a joint replacement." It's really up to the patient and their activity and what they want out of their joint as far as what they need to do to improve their quality of life and activities of daily living. If the pain is so bad that they no longer are participating in the activities that they enjoy and limited by taking more and more pain medicines, certainly if they're on the verge of requiring narcotic medicines for their pain, then it may be a good idea to consider joint replacement surgery to improve their quality of life and decrease their pain.
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