Depending on your diagnosis and the overall impact of your condition, your treatment and management options may be surgical or non-surgical.
Joint replacement or revision (repeat) surgery is used to implant or replace an artificial joint (or prosthesis). These surgeries can significantly reduce pain and improve mobility. Today’s implants are durable enough to last more than 20 years without the need for revision surgery.
We’ll review the risks and benefits with you so you can decide when you’re ready for surgery.
Different surgical approaches may be used depending on the joint and the specific condition. Our team has expertise replacing every joint, including knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. Some of the advanced surgeries we perform include:
- Anterior hip approach, which uses a smaller incision at the front of the hip and avoids removing any muscle during hip replacement surgery. This approach can result in less pain after surgery, rapid recovery, increased mobility and much lower chance of hip dislocation.
- Mini posterior approach, which is more muscle sparing than the conventional approach and results in more rapid recovery. This approach can result in less pain and an earlier return to your activities.
- Reverse shoulder replacement, used when you have chronic rotator cuff muscle tearing and your shoulder has become arthritic. This surgery is a fairly new option, offering patients relief for a condition that could not be treated previously.
- Minimally invasive joint replacement, which uses fewer, smaller incisions and often results in a faster, less painful recovery.
After surgery, most patients can go home the same day or next day. For about the next two weeks, you’ll take pain medication for soreness caused by the surgery. After the second week, most patients start to see dramatic relief from soreness, pain and difficulty moving around. You’ll continue to heal and get used to your new joint over the next few months.
- Physical therapy, to strengthen muscles around the joint and improve your range of motion. Physical therapy may be used both after surgery and as an option for non-surgical management of your condition. With regular physical therapy, you may enjoy better results and a smoother, faster recovery. Our expert physical therapists are ready to support you through your healing journey. If you live far away, we can help you choose a physical therapist closer to home.
- Lifestyle changes, including assistive devices for walking (like canes or walkers) and exercise (to lose weight and improve joint function).
- Anti-inflammatory medications, which help reduce inflammation or swelling to improve symptoms
- Injection therapies, which might include nerve blocks (to stop pain from certain nerves) or corticosteroids (to reduce inflammation and immune system response). Your joint may also need a lubrication injection to ease joint movement.
- Pain medications, which can help reduce debilitating pain. If your condition has become serious, a more powerful pain medication may be required for a limited time period. Once other treatments are helping reduce your pain, we’ll help you slow and stop the use of any pain medications.
As long as you’re comfortable with managing your condition through non-surgical options, we’ll continue to see you as needed. Whenever you’re ready, we can discuss your surgical options and consider the risks and benefits. Our whole team is here to answer any questions you have, from day one through every follow-up appointment.
After joint replacement surgery, follow-up appointments are an important part of the healing journey. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you schedule your follow-ups.
Most patients need a few follow-ups in the weeks and months after surgery to evaluate how a joint is recovering. At the one-year mark, you’ll likely be fully recovered and we’ll schedule a follow-up to evaluate your progress.
Beyond one year, we’ll discuss the best follow-up schedule for your condition and implant. You may need to come in annually, every other year or every five years. After 10 years, we like to see our patients every one or two years to check up on normal wear and tear.