An overview of Joint Replacement
Joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgery that replaces a damaged joint with an artificial joint. It may involve replacing the damaged part of your joint, but surgeons mostly replace the entire joint. Hips, knees, and shoulders are commonly replaced joints. An artificial joint looks like your natural joint and functions similarly. Your doctor may recommend Grants Pass joint replacement if you have joint pain that does not improve with non-surgical treatments. The surgery can also be beneficial if you have joint stiffness that hinders you from doing daily duties.
What happens before joint replacement?
Weeks before your surgery, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, exercise, and a diet program to ensure you are healthy for the operation. Tell your doctor about your health history and any medications you might be taking. Your doctor will recommend you stop taking some medications like blood thinners which may increase bleeding. The doctor will also tell you hours to avoid eating before your surgery.
What happens during joint replacement?
Before the joint replacement surgery, you will receive anesthesia to ensure you do not feel pain during the procedure. Depending on your condition, your surgeon may use non-invasive or minimally-invasive procedures. A minimally invasive technique involves fewer incisions and a short recovery period.
Joint replacement involves your surgeon making incisions around the affected area, removing the damaged joint, and replacing it with an artificial joint. The artificial joint can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. Your surgeon may use stitches, staples, or surgical glue to close the cuts. The provider will then wrap the joint with a bandage; you may also need a brace or sling.
What happens after joint replacement?
Depending on the type of procedure you had, you may go home the same day of your surgery or may need to stay in your medical facility for a day or two. Ensure you have someone to take you home and help you perform activities like bathing or laundry. You will experience pain for some days after surgery, but your specialist will prescribe pain medication. You may also require drugs to relieve swelling and prevent blood clots. Avoid physical activities for some days after the surgery.
Do physical therapy exercises as prescribed by your doctor. The exercises help you restore function and protect the new joint. Ensure your incisions are clean and covered. Change the bandages as instructed by your doctor. The recovery period for joint replacement varies in all patients. It depends on activity level, lifestyle, age, replaced joint, overall health, and whether you had a total or partial joint replacement.
What are the risks and complications of joint replacement surgery?
After joint replacement surgery, you may experience complications like blood clots, infection, or injury to the nerves surrounding the replaced joint. You may also experience joint weakness, which can lead to fracture or issues with the new joint, including dislocation.
Joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgery that replaces a damaged joint with an artificial joint. The artificial joint can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic and functions like the natural one. Schedule an appointment at Southern Oregon Orthopedics & Paragon Orthopedic Center for joint replacement to relieve your persistent joint pain.