Firstly, what is a joint replacement?
A joint replacement involves surgically removing parts of a joint which are arthritic or damaged. The damaged joint is replaced with a plastic, metal or ceramic device, called a prothesis, which replicates the movement of a normal healthy joint.
Often a joint replacement will reduce pain and provide a better quality of life for a patient.
Replacement joint surgery can be performed all over the body – for example, ankles, wrists and shoulders, however the most commonly performed joint replacements are the knee and the hip.
Why do patients require joint replacement surgery?
Many medical conditions can cause joint pain and disability (due to the effect of pain). Often the pain is caused by damage to, or erosion of, the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones. This occurs with osteoarthritis and some fractures.
If making non surgical lifestyle changes such as modifying an exercise program, physiotherapy or losing weight do not help with joint pain and subsequent disability, a doctor may recommend total joint replacement surgery.
Joint replacements and travel insurance
Having a joint replacement should not stop you from having a great holiday, particularly as insure4less specialises in providing affordable travel insurance for travellers with pre existing medical conditions.
For your own peace of mind, you can relax in the knowledge that you have the protection of one of the world’s largest insurers and medical emergency teams to support you whilst overseas if you suddenly suffer from any medical event that concerns your joint replacement surgery. We ask you to declare your joint replacement surgery including affected joint and date of the procedure – normally there is no extra to pay. When you receive your policy via email it will confirm in writing exactly what your cover is. You can then simply travel and relax.
Here are a few tips for travel if you’ve had joint replacement surgery…
- Travelling can be tough on your body, especially on long flights with minimal legroom. Ensure you stretch and walk around the plane as much as possible if flying.
- Walking around and stretching helps prevent blood clots from developing.
- Joints may swell due to changes in cabin pressure when flying. Check with your doctor about the appropriate time to travel a few months after your surgery.
- Metal components in joint replacement prostheses can activate airport metal detectors so be prepared for extra screening. Wear clothing that makes it easy to show a security guard an incision point if applicable.
- Carry documentation advising that you’ve undergone this surgery for security staff as well is very helpful.