How long can I expect to be in the hospital?
My patients typically go home the day of surgery.
When will I be able to resume some normal activities such as driving a car and leaving the house to do errands?
It primarily depends on which side of your body received the new implant. For example, those having a knee or hip implant on the right side will need to wait longer before operating a vehicle. Typically, patients can resume activities within 2-6 weeks.
If I am an active golfer or gardener, when can I expect to go back to these activities?
For a golfer, it typically takes longer to get back into the swing of things-generally 6-12 weeks. For an activity such as light gardening, patients can usually resume their activities within 2-4 weeks. Prior to surgery, it is best to discuss with me what specific activities you wish to resume after surgery.
About how big will the incision be?
It really depends on the patient's size and muscle mass. I try to achieve minimal incisions on all my patients. The average incision is about 3 ½ inches, but someone of a larger build may require an incision of 8-10 inches. This may seem long, but again it really depends on the size of the patient and the particular case.
How long will my stitches need to stay in? Will I be able to take a shower?
On average, your stitches will be removed within 7-10 days after surgery. Patients are typically able to take a shower within 3-4 days after surgery.
Will you use general anesthesia or are there other options?
Typically my patients are not given general anesthesia. They will most likely have spinal/epidural. I find that my patients recover better while avoiding the side effects of general anesthesia.
Will I need outpatient physical rehabilitation?
Almost all patients receiving total knee replacement will require outpatient physical rehabilitation. We will outline the length and type of physical rehabilitation needed before and after your procedure.
Will I need to donate my blood for my surgery?
Most patients do not require blood during total joint surgery. My patients are always given the option of whether or not they would like to donate their blood in the event it is needed for their surgery.
What is total joint replacement?
When a joint has worn to the point that it no longer does its job, an artificial joint (called prosthesis) made of metal, ceramics, and plastic can take its place. The surgery to implant the prosthesis is termed a total joint replacement, which recreates the normal function of the joint. Total joint replacement is most frequently performed in the hip and knee, but the shoulder joint can also undergo wear and require replacement.
Why do hips and knees need replacement?
The hip joint is a “ball and socket” in which the upper end of the thighbone rotates inside a rounded area of the pelvis. The knee is a “hinge” that joins the shin to the thigh. Both joints are lined with cartilage, a layer of smooth, tough tissue that cushions the bones where they touch each other. With age and stress, the cartilage wears away, and the bones rub against each other causing friction, swelling, stiffness, pain, and sometimes deformity. When this occurs, hip or knee replacement can relieve pain and restore mobility and quality of life.
What causes arthritis?
Approximately 43 million Americans suffer from arthritis. Usually, the cause is heredity. If your parents had arthritis, your chances of suffering from it are increased. Other causes include trauma or illness. For example: rheumatism, lupus, and psoriasis cause the body to secrete enzymes that soften cartilage, making joints more vulnerable to wear. Severe arthritis can limit mobility and seriously impact quality of life. While medications can sometimes reduce pain and inflammation, many patients require joint replacement to regain their quality of life.
Is joint replacement surgery safe?
Joint replacement is a safe and common procedure. Annually, nearly 150,000 people have hips replaced and nearly 250,000 have knees replaced. As with any surgical procedure, certain risks are involved. The staff at the Bone & Joint Center will review these risks with you, as well as explain how post-surgical programs can reduce risk and aid in more rapid recovery.