Joint Replacement FAQs
We want to make sure you and your family have all the information you need going into your total or partial joint replacement. You’ll have access to our staff at any point along the way to ask questions and learn more about your specific procedure. Below you will find answers to some of the more commonly asked joint replacement questions we receive here at POA.
What’s happening with my joints – what’s causing this pain?
Chronic pain and limited mobility in the joints can be caused by a wide range of factors that may include:
- Congenital deformities such as hip dysplasia
- Developmental deformities such as Legg-Calve- Perthes disease and slipped capital femoral epiphysis
- Simple wear and tear osteoarthritis
- Systemic conditions causing inflammatory arthritis such as Chron’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Osteonecrosis (a condition where blood supply to the bone that supports the joint is lost causing collapse of the joint surface and subsequent destruction of the joint)
Our joints are often damaged by decades of use that begin to wear them away. Other times, arthritis or another debilitative disease is the culprit. An old injury, often sports- or work-related, might have triggered a joint problem that has gradually worsened with time.
What is joint replacement surgery?
Joint replacement surgery replaces a damaged or weakened joint with a new, prosthetic joint. Each surgery is different, depending on your body and general health as well as the amount of damage that has been done to your joint. All patients are given anesthesia – either regional or general – to prevent them from feeling pain during surgery. The length of surgery depends on the extent of damage and the type of joint being replaced.
Our surgeons will remove the affected joint surfaces using either standard or minimally invasive techniques. An artificial joint is then secured to the bone using either cement that acts as a grout to lock the prosthesis to the bone or a press fit ingrowth technique where the bone actually grows onto or into the prosthesis to lock it in place. The design and materials of the prosthesis are chosen to provide the longest lasting replacement possible; but this is only part of the equation for a successful joint replacement. More importantly, our surgeons take the time to carefully pre-plan the procedure to restore the patient’s anatomy to its pre-arthritic condition as precisely as possible. Combined with expert execution of the plan during surgery, this results in a more natural feeling joint replacement.
Do I need joint replacement surgery?
Are you living with constant pain and having trouble with everyday activities that require moving your joints, such as walking, climbing stairs, holding a cup of coffee, or reaching for an item? Then you might need joint replacement surgery.
Only your doctor can tell you if you need your joint replaced. After a thorough history, examination, X-ray and other diagnostic tests, your doctor will be able to determine if joint replacement is right for you.
Can total joint replacement/arthroplasty be done as an outpatient surgery? Will I need to go to the hospital?
Most partial and total knee replacements as well as hip replacements can be performed as outpatient surgery, without even having a hospital stay, for our healthy patients. At POA, our surgeons offer same day outpatient surgery at our state-of-the-art Joint Replacement Center at POA Surgery Center.
What is recovery after joint replacement like?
Recovery times vary depending on the type of joint replacement surgery and other personal health factors. The key to optimal recovery is exercising your new joint. Your surgeon will have you using your new joint within a day of surgery, and you will be given a personal rehabilitation plan as part of your recovery process. This will help to improve your mobility and ensure you regain the fullest possible range of motion with your new joint.
You might feel some pain or discomfort at first as you begin healing, but that usually subsides within a few weeks. After surgery, you will be able to walk and do other low-impact physical activities. You will work your way toward more strenuous activities after a couple months with the help of a personalized exercise plan.