Orthopedics: Hip and Knee Replacements

Orthopedics: Hip and Knee Replacements

Who should have hip and knee replacement surgery?

If hip or knee pain is causing you to give up the things in life you enjoy doing and is compromising your quality of life, you should consider visiting the Orthopedic Care Center at Weeks Medical Center. We will recommend the most appropriate treatment for your condition. Patients who are in constant hip or knee pain and have a significant decrease in mobility that affects their quality of life may be candidates for hip or knee replacement surgery. Total hip and knee replacements are usually a result of progressive, severe arthritis in the joint. The most common type of arthritis is degenerative or osteoarthritis.

What is the success rate of hip and knee replacements?

Total hip and knee replacements have been one of the most successful medical treatments over the past 30 years and can significantly relieve pain and restore mobility. Our orthopedic team at Weeks Medical Center has been performing successful replacement surgeries for over fifteen years. Using current surgical techniques, an arthritic knee or hip can be successfully replaced with a new joint, while the latest pain management techniques minimize the discomfort.

What does hip replacement surgery involve?

The purpose of hip replacement surgery is to remove the two damaged and worn parts of the hip joint—hip socket (acetabulum) and the ball (femoral head) and replace them with smooth, artificial implants called prostheses, which help make the hip strong, stable and flexible again. The hip implant is comprised of four parts that work together to restore the original function of the ball-and-socket joint.

What is the process for knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. During knee replacement surgery, we replace the knee with an artificial joint made of metal alloys and high-grade polymers. We choose the best fit that takes into account the patient’s size. Most knee replacement joints replicate the knee’s natural ability to roll and glide as it bends.

What is the rehabilitation process after joint replacement surgery?

After joint replacement surgery, patients move from skilled nursing care to a specially equipped rehabilitation department where physical therapy is started. Depending on the patient’s age and overall health, rehabilitation can range from a few days to a couple of weeks. Occupational therapists are also part of the rehabilitation process. These therapists review precautions with the patients related to every day activities. They also educate patients about the adaptive equipment that is available and the proper way to do activities of daily living until the patient has healed completely. In the majority of cases, extended rehabilitation can be done in the very same hospital room ensuring continuity of care. The patient has completed the rehabilitation process when they demonstrate that they can safely do activities of daily living, and they are then discharged home. The patient will continue therapy either at home with a home therapist, or as an outpatient with the same therapist they had while in the hospital.

Who do I call if I think I’m a candidate for joint replacement surgery?

You can talk with your Weeks Medical Center PCP or you can call us directly at the number listed below to schedule an orthopedic consultation.

By Paul Kamins, MD

Paul Kamins is a a board certified orthopedic physician and is a fellow of the American College of Orthopedic Surgery. For more information or for an appointment, please call 603-788-5095.