By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist
Should I Get a Joint Replacement?
Getting a joint replacement is a big decision. There is not a set answer for everyone. It is a choice that should be made by you and your orthopedic doctor. Many people choose to get a joint replacement when they cannot do the things they love to do anymore because of the pain. Severe arthritis is the main reason that a joint needs to be replaced. Arthritis can cause:
- Limited movement
- Deformation of a joint
Before making the decision to have a Joint Replacement or Arthroplasty, It is important to understand what is involved. To learn more – read on.
To consult with JOI Joint Replacement Surgeon, Click here: Schedule Now.
What is an Arthroplasty?
The quick answer is that arthroplasty is a joint replacement. When a joint, such as a hip or knee, has severe arthritis, it may not move well anymore. There may also be severe pain with simple tasks like walking. When this happens, it may be necessary to replace the joint with new parts. This usually involves surgically removing the damaged surface of the joint and placing an artificial surface instead. A joint replacement may involve all of the surfaces in a joint (total joint arthroplasty) or just part of the surfaces (partial joint arthroplasty).
Which Joints Get Arthroplasties the Most Often?
The most common joints that need a replacement are the knee, hip, and shoulder. These are all large joints and take time to heal after the procedure. Arthroplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia by an orthopedic surgeon. These joints may need a replacement if the pain and stiffness become so severe that it interferes with basic daily activity. Symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, night pain and locking of the joint are common complaints.
Another common joint to get replaced is in the thumb (1st Carpometacarpal (CMC) joint). This is the joint where the thumb meets the wrist. This joint can wear out from gripping activities over time. A joint replacement in the thumb typically requires hand therapy for several months after the procedure.
What Happens During an Arthroplasty?
With an arthroplasty, while you are under anesthesia, the surgeon opens the skin over the joint area. Then the orthopedic surgeon uses precise tools to remove the damaged joint surface. Then, the attach the artificial joint surface to the bone.
To learn more about total knee replacement, watch this VIDEO.
What is Makoplasty?
The quick answer is that a robot helps with the joint replacement surgery. The orthopedic surgeon may use a robot-assisted device to help accurately remove the damaged joint tissue. To learn more about MAKOPlasty, Read this ARTICLE.
How Long Does it take to Recover After an Arthroplasty?
Most patients stay in the hospital at least one night after a joint replacement. Some require more than one night. After the hospital stay, most patients receive home health physical therapy and nursing care for about 2 weeks. They usually transition to outpatient physical therapy at that point.
Doctors are now performing 23 Hour Joint Replacement procedures as well. In some cases, there are even same-day joint replacement procedures.
To learn more about the 23 Hour Joint Replacement, click HERE.
After an arthroplasty, one of the first goals is to improve the range of motion (ROM). Sometimes, the surrounding tissue is tight from not moving much prior to surgery. It is important to begin range of motion activity early after a joint replacement or arthroplasty.
Most patients can return to normal activity in a few months but complete healing can take up to a year. That does not mean that there will be pain that long. Patients who are consistent and diligent with the exercises given in physical therapy tend to progress faster and have better outcomes.
Where is Telemedicine frequently used?
All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists, and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home. If you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopedic Telehealth services for you. Simply download the free Zoom app on your phone, tablet, or laptop. Our doctors and therapists can evaluate you and provide the care you need.
- To schedule a new patient or follow up patient appointment with your MD, please call (904)JOI-2000 or read more here about our orthopedic telemedicine providers.
- To schedule an appointment for physical or occupational therapy, call 904-858-7045 or call any of the 12 area JOI Rehab Centers.
JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.
You can now schedule online new patient appointments at JOIONLINE.NET.
If you think you are a candidate for arthroplasty and would like more information, call the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute @ JOI-2000, schedule online, or click below.