What is total joint replacement surgery, and does it work?
Joint replacement surgery is a procedure in which a surgeon removes the arthritic areas of your joint and then caps the bone ends with man-made implants. If your OrthoIndy specialist recommends total joint surgery, OrthoIndy Hospital has been a Five-Star Recipient for Total Knee Replacement from 2008 to 2019.
Obesity and total joint replacement
If you are obese with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 39, your risk of complications during and after total joint replacement surgery, including developing a surgical site complication, are six times higher than for patients at a healthy weight.
For this reason and many others, we encourage obese patients to lose as much weight as is safe and possible before surgery to maximize beneficial surgical outcomes.
Trying to lose weight? Learn how to eat healthy, how to exercise and how to maintain a positive outlook on life to achieve your lifestyle goals.
Read article: weight & total joint replacement surgery
Smoking and joint replacement surgery
According to CDC, smoking is the number one cause of preventable death and smokers often die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking also affects your body’s ability to recover after a surgical procedure.
In fact, quitting before your procedure and not smoking afterward can significantly increase your chances of healing faster. It allows more oxygen to reach your cells and increases blood flow which helps your body heal.
Read article: Smoking effects after surgery and how to stop
Total knee implants consist of three components, which resurface the ends of the femur, the tibia (leg bone) and the undersurface of the kneecap (patella). They are made of metal and polyethylene materials. There are three parts of the knee that can be resurfaced with these implants including the femur, tibia and often times the patella.
For some patients double joint replacement surgery, also called bilateral joint replacement, may be an option. A bilateral joint replacement is when either both hips or both knees are being replaced at the same time. Different factors affect whether you are eligible for a double joint replacement since it’s a more intense surgery and recovery process compared to a single joint replacement surgery.
READ ARTICLE: PROS AND CONS OF DOUBLE JOINT REPLACEMENT SURGERY
Length of surgery
Joint replacement surgery takes 35 to 45 minutes. If you are having a revision, it may take an hour, possibly two in rare circumstances.
In most cases after surgery, patients stand up with a walker or crutches within a few hours. Except for during your actual operation and when you are in the recovery room, you are not bedridden at any time.
In some cases, you may go home the same day as surgery. Otherwise, one or two nights in the hospital may be needed.
Your physical therapy will take place at an outpatient facility near your home. In special cases, arrangements can be made for home physical therapy.
list: OrthoIndy outpatient physical therapy locations
You may have some short-term restrictions with weight bearing or motion during the first six weeks after surgery. Your total joint specialist will evaluate you and take X-rays about six weeks after your surgery. During this visit, your doctor will let you know about any potential long-term restrictions.
After your recovery, you can walk as far as you want, ride a bike, go up and down stairs without pain, swim, bowl, garden, play doubles tennis, golf, dance and more!
Knee replacements remain one of the most successful operative procedures around. Millions of people have undergone this procedure because of its dramatic ability to improve their lifestyle and allow them to return to a more active life.
Additional reported benefits include excellent pain relief as well as improved strength, motion, and the ability to stand up, climb steps and walk longer distances.
Ten years after joint replacement, research shows that at least 95 percent of joints still work well. After 15 years, that number remains near 95 percent.
Many of our patients at OrthoIndy have had knee implants in place for over 25 years and they continue to return every few years for routine evaluations.
We learn a great deal from observing our patients and the outcomes of their joint replacement surgeries.
Get ready for total joint replacement surgery with this checklist
What is partial knee replacement?
Partial knee replacement involves replacing only one part of the knee. While there are significant benefits to this procedure, the downfall is a slightly higher risk of repeat surgery within 15 years compared to total knee replacement.
Partial knee replacement vs. total knee replacement
For patients looking to relieve pain from knee arthritis, total knee replacement, also known as total knee arthroplasty, can be an extremely effective option, but in some cases, a less invasive partial knee replacement can also relieve knee pain.
During this procedure, rather than replacing the entire knee joint, only the diseased portion of the knee is resurfaced.
Read article: Partial vs. Total Knee Replacements