How do I know if I need a joint replacement surgery?
- Radiographs, CT scan or MRI Reveal Advanced Arthritis or Significant
- Joint Damage
- You Have Chronic and Significant Pain
- Your Hip or Knee Disability Makes Completing Routine Tasks Difficult
- Stiffness Limits Your Normal Range of Motion in the Joint
- Conservative Treatments Do Not Adequately Relieve Pain
- You’ve Noticed Side Effects From Pain Medications
Schedule a physical exam. A few weeks prior to surgery, you’ll need a comprehensive physical examination by your primary care physician.
Visit your dentist. It is recommended that any dental issue to be taken care of prior to your joint replacement surgery.
Attend your (virtual) pre-operative educational class to discuss details of pain management, meet anesthesiologist, same day discharge and pickup, selection of “champion”, assistive devices, and aids to recovery.
Review exercises and use of walker/cane with your designated physical therapist.
How long is joint replacement surgery?
For hip or knee surgeries, the procedure itself will typically last anywhere between 1-2 hours. Anesthesiologist and operating room nurses will meet you prior to surgery. Your family (or friends) in the waiting room will be notified when you are in the recovery room. After passing physical therapy, you can be discharged from the hospital.
What is the recovery time after joint replacement surgery?
Recovery typically requires 2-3 months but can vary greatly. Some patients recover faster and for others, recovery may take up to 6 months or more. With regional anesthesia and using multimodal pain medications after surgery, recovery has become faster and easier. As you continue physical therapy, your pain levels should slowly decrease during the 2-3 following weeks after your joint replacement. Swelling surrounding the surgical site is normal and expected after the surgery during the recovery phase.
What are the causes of pain and failure after joint replacement surgery?
There are several reasons for failure of hip or knee replacement: infection, loosening, or instability. With use of computer assisted surgery, alignment problems have been reduced. At times, extensive workup and revision (redo) surgeries are needed to address the issue.
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