Joint Replacement – Hip/Knee

Joint replacement, a surgical procedure to remove and replace an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial joint (called a prosthesis), may be considered only after other treatment options have failed to provide adequate relief from pain and/or disability.

More than 285,000 primary total hip replacements and more than 600,000 total knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States annually.

When preparing for joint replacement surgery

As with any surgery, there are some preoperative considerations to keep in mind, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Exercise. Our bodies tend to heal and regain function faster when they are in good physical and cardiovascular condition.
  • Medication. Before the surgery, discuss with your orthopedic specialist the medications you are currently taking. Some may need to be temporarily discontinued until after the surgery. This determination can only be most appropriately made by your doctor or orthopedist.
  • Discharge planning. As with any surgery, be sure to discuss discharge planning with your doctor beforehand. Your discharge plan may include instructions on care of the incision, pain medications, activities, special exercises, and other home care instructions.
  • Rehabilitation. People who have received a total joint replacement can still lead functional, active lifestyles. One major component of many rehabilitation programs is exercise to restore function, mobility, and strength to the affected joint and surrounding muscles. Discuss with your doctor what an appropriate postoperative rehabilitation program should include.

Consult your orthopedic surgeon for more specific preoperative planning for your individual condition and type of joint replacement surgery.

Possible complications associated with joint replacement surgery

Although joint replacement surgery is successful in 90% of cases, complications may still occur, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Wound infection
  • Infection around the prosthesis
  • Blood clotting
  • Malfunction of the prosthesis (may be caused by wear and tear, breakage, dislocation, or loosening)
  • Nerve injury (although rare, nerves in the surrounding area may become damaged during the surgery)

Rehabilitation after joint replacement

The goal of hip and knee replacement surgery is to improve function of the joint. Full recovery after joint replacement usually takes about three to six months, depending on the type of surgery, overall health of the patient, and the success of rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation programs after joint replacement may include the following:

  • Exercises to improve mobility (movement) and physical fitness
  • Gait (walking) retraining
  • Pain management
  • Nutrition counseling to improve weight control
  • Use of assistive devices
  • Patient and family education

Source: HealthSource Library: http://healthsource.baylorhealth.com

Our joint replacement patients come to us from Dallas, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Prosper and vicinities.

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