The hip is one of the body’s most important joints. It plays an important role in nearly every basic function, from sitting and standing, to walking and bending. Most people are born with healthy hip joints that facilitate a wide motion range without pain or discomfort. But over time, one or both hips can develop complications that stiffen the joints and cause significant discomfort on a day to day basis. Rather than cope with more physical limitations, discomfort, and a less active lifestyle, many patients turn to orthopedic surgeons to undergo a hip replacement. Today’s minimally invasive hip replacement procedures make it possible for patients to achieve restored joint function with as little inconvenience as possible.
Did you know…
that hip replacements are used to treat patients who are suffering from both traumatic injuries and diseases like arthritis? Currently, hip replacement is one of the most common joint replacement surgeries in the U.S., with approximately 300,000 patients opting for the procedure on an annual basis. Of those patients, the vast majority experience a successful recovery without the need for a secondary operation. In fact, many artificial hips can last up to 30 years or more!
You may be a candidate for a hip replacement if you have severe joint damage or a joint disease that causes chronic and debilitating pain. Individuals who are at high risk for infection or who suffer from chronic health issues, such as morbid obesity, may not be eligible for this procedure. Only a consultation with your orthopedic surgeon can determine whether hip replacement is right for you.
You’ll be placed under general anesthesia for your hip replacement. During the procedure, and incision is made in your hip, through which diseased bone and other tissues are removed. The artificial hip parts are either cemented in place or else fixated in a way that will encourage your biological bone to fuse with the artificial hip. Most procedures take no more than an hour, with many patients going home in as little as 1 or 2 days.
You will not be released from the hospital until you can safely get in and out of bed on your own, as well as perform a normal daily task by yourself. It is normal to experience pain and swelling in the first few days and weeks following your surgery. However, discomfort should subside with time. Be sure to take all medications exactly as prescribed and attend your follow-up appointments with your surgeon. Keep in mind that drug, cigarette and excessive alcohol use can complicate the recovery process and affect the outcome of your surgery.
Millions of people suffer from knee pain and stiffness – often due to degenerative joint disease like osteoarthritis. Physical traumas and joint diseases can significantly impair mobility and quality of life during even the simplest of activities. Although conservative measures are the first line of defense, many patients require extensive medical intervention to achieve relief for their knees. Total knee replacement is the choice of many patients and orthopedists because the procedure has a high rate of success. In fact, as many as 90 percent of patients achieve a significant reduction in knee pain following surgery.
Did you know…
that the first knee replacement surgery was performed in 1968? Now, the procedure is more popular than ever, with more than 700,000 people getting total knee replacements in 2010 alone. Artificial knee joints have changed the lives of millions of people from young to old. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, total knee replacements have been successfully performed in patients as young as 13. However, the majority of people eligible for this surgery are between the ages of 50 and 80.
You may be a candidate for total knee replacement surgery if you have osteoarthritis or joint damage that has not adequately responded to more conservative methods of treatment, such as physical therapy. Although knee replacements are considered safe and highly effective, results still vary from patient to patient. It is important to discuss your options with your orthopedist to determine if total knee replacement is right for you.
Total knee replacement surgery is an inpatient procedure that is performed using general anesthesia. Your doctor will make an incision, exposing the bone beneath. Damaged cartilage and a small amount of the bone will be removed and replaced by metal implants that are either cemented or pressed into the bone. Finally, your doctor may resurface your patella and insert a smooth spacer into your joint to facilitate fluid movement. The entire procedure usually takes no more than 1 or 2 hours.
You will probably spend several days in the hospital after your surgery. During this time, the medical staff and your orthopedist will monitor your condition to ensure you are comfortable and that you are not developing unwanted blood clots after surgery. Your doctors and nurses will also work to prevent complications of surgery, such as pneumonia. Expect to begin a physical therapy regimen within 24 hours of your knee replacement. It will be important to continue these exercises for many weeks to facilitate a strong recovery.
An arthroscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the health of problem joints – particularly those in the knees, shoulders, wrists, hips and back. The procedure uses an arthroscope, which is an endoscopic device complete with a camera and light at the end. Inside the joint, the arthroscope transmits images of the joint to a viewing screen for your surgeons examination. These images are helpful in identifying and even helping conditions like a torn rotator cuff, a dislocation, or joint inflammation.
Did you know…
that arthroscopy can be a convenient alternative to open joint surgery? Not only is an arthroscopy less invasive than surgery, it is also more affordable on average. Many patients also enjoy the shorter recovery time and lower risk of complications associated with arthroscopies.
You may need an arthroscopy if you are suffering from chronic and undiagnosed joint pain or discomfort. Your orthopedic surgeon may recommend an arthroscopy as a means of examining the condition of your injured or diseased joint. The outcome of your procedure can help your orthopedist develop a treatment plan that best fits your needs.
Your arthroscopy will be an outpatient procedure performed while you are under local anesthesia and light to moderate sedation. Most procedures last no more than 1 or 2 hours, although you’ll need to spend at least a couple of hours in supervised recovery before being allowed to go home.
A small incision will be made near your joint, through which your orthopedic surgeon will thread an arthroscopy into your joint. Using the camera on the end of the scope, your surgeon will examine the condition of your joint and determine whether the conditions present can be corrected during the same arthroscopic surgery. Examples of amendable joint conditions include cartilage damage, bursitis, and labral tears. Additional incisions may be necessary to correct any joint conditions.
You will probably go home on the same day as your procedure. However, you’ll need the assistance of a close family member or friend to help you in the days following your surgery. Your doctor will provide instructions for avoiding physical activity temporarily after your arthroscopy.
Therapeutic injections are joint injections administered for the relief of chronic pain and inflammation. They are used in patients who are experiencing either acute or chronic discomfort but are usually reserved for patients who have not achieved desirable relief from more conservative measures like physical therapy. There are several types of therapeutic joint injections, the most common of which are steroidal injections. Many injections are designed to provide immediate relief following the injections, as well as slow-release treatment over the course of several weeks or months after the injection.
Did you know?
There are several types of therapeutic injections. Examples include epidural injections, facet joint injections, selective nerve root block injections, and sacroiliac injections. Patients who undergo this type of treatment may require more than one joint injection to achieve desirable results. However, it is not recommended that patients get more than 3 joint injections in a 6 to 12 month period.
You may be a candidate for therapeutic injections if you have not been able to get relief for ongoing joint pain or back pain from pain medications, physical therapy, or lifestyle modifications. You should not get this type of treatment if you are taking anti-coagulants or are allergic to the ingredients in the injection. You’ll need a consultation with your doctor to determine whether joint injections are right for you.
Most therapeutic injections are performed with patients awake, although some injections require sedation. A basic knee injection may be performed in just a few minutes from the comfort of your doctor’s office. The skin is cleansed with an antiseptic and covered with a small bandage after the injection is completed. Other injections – especially those pertaining to the spine – may require the guidance of x-ray imaging at a hospital.
Many patients experience relief in the first few days after an injection. However, you may still experience some soreness at the injection site. Applying ice may help minimize any swelling. You’ll need to limit your physical activity on the day of the procedure but can probably return to work as early as the next day.
Viscosupplementation is the injection of hyaluronate into the knees to cushion them and provide lubrication. These injections are comprised of a thick substance with the consistency of jelly that helps to cushion the joints and lubricate them. Known as hyaluronate, this substance is a naturally occurring protein in the joints that is elastic and thick in young, healthy joints. Over time, hyaluronate may begin to degenerate and weaken, causing pain and discomfort. By injecting the lubricant directly into the joint, inflammation is soothed and pain minimized.
Did you know…
that hyaluronate injections have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 1997? Since its approval, viscosupplementation injections have been administered to millions of people all over the world for the treatment of osteoarthritis and joint pain. Viscosupplementation has been widely tested and is deemed safe with a very high success rate and low risk of side effects.
Viscosupplementation may be right for you if you suffer from chronic knee pain or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Hyaluronate injections are an effective alternative to surgery for many patients, although it may take several injections to achieve desirable results.
Viscosupplementation is a quick procedure performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office, taking only minutes to administer. You will lie on your back with your knee extended. An antiseptic will be applied to the injection site before the needle is gently inserted just to the side of the knee cap. You may experience some slight discomfort at the injection site. Additional injections will be administered weekly over a period of three to five weeks.
Viscosupplementation recovery requires very little ‘down time,’ although you will need to avoid placing pressure on your knee for long periods of time. Apply ice to alleviate soreness or bruising. You may find that your knee pain has subsided immediately following an injection. However, it is normal for results to continue to improve over the course of several weeks.
Orthopedic surgeons often perform knee replacements for patients who are limited by diseases and conditions like osteoarthritis or joint injury. But not all patients require a total replacement. Instead, a partial knee replacement can be used to replace only targeted bones and tissues while preserving as much of the natural joint as possible. Most patients pursue partial knee replacements with the goal of eliminating discomfort and returning to an active, pain-free lifestyle. Partial knee replacements have a high rate of success and when properly cared for, can last patients for many years without the need for additional operations.
Did you know…
that partial knee replacements offer many benefits over total knee replacement procedures? Not only do partial replacements require less invasive surgery, but they also result in less blood loss during surgery on average. Many partial knee replacement patients also experience a shorter recovery period and less post-procedural pain than total knee replacement patients do.
You may be a candidate for a partial knee replacement if you are suffering with a knee injury or degenerative disease that is confined to only a single compartment of the knee. Your orthopedist will want to ensure that there are no other, more conservative treatments available before proceeding with a partial knee replacement. To find out if this procedure is right for you, contact your orthopedist to schedule a consultation.
The partial knee replacement procedure is performed in an inpatient setting with most patients under general anesthesia. An incision is made over the knee, and the diseased or damaged bone and tissue removed from the joint. The new partial prosthetic replaces those areas, and the incision is closed. Most partial knee replacements take less than 1 to 2 hours to complete though patients generally spend an addition 1 to 2 hours in a recovery room.
Patients usually remain in the hospital for at least 2 days after a partial knee replacement. During this time, your orthopedists and the hospital medical staff will oversee your recovery to ensure you are not experiencing any complications. Most partial knee replacements take several weeks to heal, during which time your orthopedist may prescribe joint rehab or physical therapy. However, you can expect to be pain-free with restored joint mobility at the end of your rehabilitation and recovery period.