Hemophilia is an inherited bleeding disorder that affects males more often than females. Usually a blood-clotting factor is missing. The person with hemophilia doesn't bleed any faster than anyone else. He just bleeds for a longer period of time.
Treatment today is aimed at: 1) preventing bleeding episodes and 2) minimizing the effects of the bleeds. Early treatment along with exercise is helping today's patients with hemophilia spare their joints from damage.
For older folks who've had hemophilia for many years, joint damage has occurred from repeated bleeding episodes. The most common joints affected are the knee, elbow, and ankle.
Joint replacement isn't out of the question for someone with hemophilia. There are two keys to success after any joint operation. One is regular factor treatment and the second is a physical therapy program.
You must be careful to avoid stressful activities, heavy lifting, jumping from heights, and some leg exercise equipment. Your therapist will go through all the precautions with you.
And donít forget: you must call your doctor right away if you have any problems after the operation!