Arthritis and chronic pain can definitely take their toll on the body. They can affect an individuals overall health often due to fatigue, lack of exercise, mental emotional state and even through side effects of pain/anit-inflammatory medications. Treatments can vary depending on the type of arthritis present (whether rheumatoid arthritis, osteo arthritis or arthritis due to other auto-immune conditions). The most important aspect that needs to be addressed is inflammation, as it will quicken the deterioration of the joint. Turmeric is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory herbs but you should ensure you are getting a form that is well absorbed by and incorporated into the body. Products that suspend Turmeric into an oil base tend to be superior products as they help the body to absorb the herb more efficiently, but they are more expensive. A high quality, high potency fish oil/essential fatty acid product will be important as it will help to reduce inflammation, help reduce pain and help support tissue health. Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate have helped some individuals suffering from arthritis but you need to ensure you are getting enough (about 500mg of glucosamine for every 50 pounds of body weight). I've also found acupuncture to be extremely beneficial for arthritis patients. The health notes section also has ideas for arthritis located here http://www.wyldeabouthealth.com/healthnotes/us/assets/a-z-index/a-to-z-index-of-health-conditions-1/~default
Knee replacement surgery may sound relatively simple, but it's actually a very challenging surgery. It is often stated as a surgery with a high success rate, but I have seen a large number of people having complications. Because the knee has poor circulation, infection can become a serious issue and if an infection takes hold in the knee it is difficult to treat. There have been deaths associated with infection arising from knee replacement surgery. The other main risk is developing a blood clot in the leg as circulation is generally not as strong in the legs, which can lead to other complications. There is going to be risks with any type of surgery, so make sure you know all of the risks going into it. If you were to decide to go ahead with surgery I would also suggest seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or Nutritionist who can help build up your system and maximize your health prior to surgery and in doing so, hopefully minimize the potential risks and maximize your recovery.
Yours in Health,
Jeff Appelmann, BSc, ND
Menen Centre For Optimum Health/Canadian Integrative Cancer Centre
Oakville and Toronto, Ontario
www.menencentre.com and www.cancercareforall.com