Joint Replacement

For people suffering from arthritis or an injury to a joint, joint replacement surgery can restore a pain-free life. Once offered only in large medical centers, this procedure now can be performed in community hospitals, close to home and convenient for patients and their families.

Reasons For Joint Replacement
The two major reasons for a joint replacement are constant pain and limited mobility. In most people, these problems are caused by arthritis, which affects the cartilage surface of a joint.

Cartilage is the sponge-like material that cushions a joint. But it can become damaged and worn to the point where bone is rubbing against bone when the joint moves. This can be extremely painful.

If you have painful, stiff, and achy joints, medications and other nonsurgical measures can help relieve your pain and increase your mobility. But if those don't provide relief, you may wish to consider joint replacement.

Joints That Can Be Replaced
The major joints that can be replaced are the knee, hip, and shoulder. Other joints that can be replaced include elbows, wrists, ankles, and even finger joints.

As the population ages, diseases related to aging, such as arthritis, are affecting more and more people. Today, joint replacement can be considered for many people regardless of age.

How It Is Done
The artificial joints used in replacements are made of metal and polyethylene components. They are cemented or screwed right into a person's existing bone. Bones then grow around the artificial joint, further strengthening its place in the body.

The incisions necessary for joint replacement have become much smaller as technology and artificial joints have improved. A short time ago, for example, a hip replacement required an incision that was 8 to 12 inches long. Today, we can do that same procedure through a 4-inch incision.

We also offer unicompartmental knee replacement, also called a partial knee replacement. This procedure may be done for people with arthritis that is limited to one side of the knee. It can be performed through a very small incision, and recovery from this operation is usually quicker than with traditional total knee replacement.

About The Recovery
Most joint replacements require a hospital stay of several days. Those who have had a hip or knee replacement may also need a brief stay at a local nursing home's short-term rehabilitation program. Also, visiting nurse agencies can bring care services right to a patient's home.

Our office works with each patient to help set up all of the care services they will need during their recovery.