About Total Joints

About Total Joints

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis occurs when the joint begins to degenerate or deteriorate, wearing down the cartilage that separates the joint surfaces. It results in the bone rubbing against bone causing swelling and excruciating pain. At this stage, it becomes unbearable to walk or to live a normal life. It is estimated the over 40 million Americans suffer from Arthritis.

What is a total joint replacement?

A total joint replacement procedure is a surgery in which the surgeon resurfaces your joint with a durable metal and plastic implant. After surgery, patients usually stay 2-4 days in the hospital before the surgeon releases patients home or to a skilled nursing facility.

What is the recovery phase?

In general, your orthopedic surgeon will encourage you to use your "new" joint shortly after your operation. Initially, you will walk with a walker. Physical therapy and exercises will be an integral part of your recovery process both in the hospital and after you return home. Most patients have some temporary pain in the replaced joint for a period of time because the surrounding muscles are weak from inactivity and the tissues are healing, but the pain should subside within a few weeks or months. The motion of your joint will generally improve after surgery. The extent of improvement will depend on how still your joint was before surgery. Therefore, following sufficient recovery after your surgery, you may be permitted to play golf, walk, or even dance. However, more strenuous sports such as tennis or running, may be discouraged or limited.

Is a total joint replacement permanent?

Typically, patients can expect their joint replacement to last an average of two decades or more depending on their activity level and their weight, allowing for years of pain-free living that would not be otherwise be possible due to the diseased joint.