Although joint replacement surgery is relatively common in the orthopedic world, it can still be a nerve-wracking experience. If this is a necessary step in your treatment plan, we want to make sure you feel secure before, during, and after surgery.
After reading this blog, you’ll have a firm understanding of how we recommend preparing for joint replacement surgery so you can have the best possible outcome.
Different Types of Joint Replacement Surgery
How you prepare for joint replacement surgery will depend on what type of surgery you’re getting. We’ll outline the different types of surgery Lancaster Orthopedic Group specializes in so you have a better idea of what to expect for your procedure.
Knee Joint Replacement Surgery
A total knee replacement surgery can either be from a traumatic injury event or a degenerative disease. It is a common procedure for when a patient experiences osteoarthritis, a condition that happens over time from the wear and tear of your knees.
If you’re feeling anxious about your procedure, you can feel assured that this is one of the most common surgeries in the nation! As the body ages, your muscle tissue and cartilage wear down and you’ll likely start to experience pain in your daily life.
Our specialists are here to help you from the initial appointment to post-surgery and help you determine what type of knee joint replacement surgery is best for you.
Your procedure may be a full joint replacement or a partial replacement. This will be dependent on whether the injury came from a traumatic event or if it was a degenerative condition. In either scenario, we will remove the diseased joint and then replace it with an artificial joint.
Hip Replacement Procedure
A hip replacement procedure may not be the first recommended step by our specialists. Sometimes, a cane or walking aid, physical therapy, or other medications will suffice and help take away your chronic pain. However, there are times when surgery is necessary and it’s important you feel prepared for it.
Just like your knees, a common reason for a hip replacement procedure is because of osteoarthritis in your hips. You’ll also notice that the surgery process is relatively similar, just in a different part of your body.
In this type of joint replacement surgery, your hip bone and cartilage will be removed and replaced with an artificial prosthesis. This new joint will typically last between 10 to 15 years. There are two different types of hip joint replacement surgeries, traditional and anterior.
- Traditional. Our surgeons will make an incision on the side or back of your hip, which means cutting major muscles in your body.
- Anterior. We will make an incision in the front of your hip and will not cut through any major muscles.
Arthritis Joint Replacement Surgery
There are many joints in your body and the largest ones are your knees and hips. However, you may have arthritis in other smaller joints in your body, like your shoulders and ankles. And just like other joints, surgery may not be the first recommendation for your pain management or recovery, but it can be a route you need to take at some point in your treatment plan.
Any type of arthritis joint replacement surgery can help you relieve your pain and help increase your mobility. For your shoulder, our specialists will either recommend a full shoulder replacement surgery which replaces both the ball and socket, or a partial, which only replaces the ball.
Your ankle is another smaller joint in your body and this type of surgery is recommended to fix intense arthritis, or when it is severely affecting your everyday life. Typically, this type of arthritis comes from aging or from a previous injury such as a broken ankle.
What to Do Before Your Surgery
Joint replacement surgery is a relatively common surgery but is still something serious to prepare for. Our specialists will not recommend a surgical procedure unless it is the best solution for you. Additionally, your general physician will check your health to ensure it’s the right route for you.
In your daily life, you can prepare for joint replacement surgery by eating healthy and exercising as much as you’re comfortable with. Remember, don’t push yourself beyond your limits to risk further injury or pain.
Also, consider how you’ll adjust to recovery and your living space. Depending on the type of joint replacement surgery, you may need to use a wheelchair or walking aid as part of your recovery. Because of this, you might need ramps or to make adjustments accordingly.
Along with this, you might need a shower bench and additional railings or handles around your home to make moving around easier. It’s crucial that you set these things up and plan ahead so you’re comfortable and prepared for a successful recovery.
If you have any questions or concerns about the specific equipment you’ll need post-surgery, ask your orthopedic specialist.
Questions to Ask Your Specialist
Each treatment plan will be unique to your injury and condition, so it’s important to have your questions answered. That way, you can feel confident and comfortable going into your surgery. Below we list out some typical questions to ask your orthopedic specialist.
- How long can I expect to be in recovery?
- How will this surgery affect other medical issues I have? Are there further precautions I should take at my age?
- Are there exercises I can be doing after surgery to strengthen my joints and heal better?
- What type of supplies will I need at home for my recovery?
- What can I do to lower the risks of this surgery?
There are a couple of different paths you can take post-recovery and your specialists will be able to help you decide what works best for you and your body. The most important thing is to not rush your recovery and take the time you need to rest and heal.
At Lancaster Orthopedic Group, our main concern is your health. We take into consideration your body’s needs so you can come out of your treatment plan feeling stronger than ever. But if you rush this process, it will only cause long-term issues.
It’s very common to have swelling after your surgery, so you’ll want to ice and elevate your joint and make sure you’re drinking lots of water post-recovery. Your doctor may also recommend compression socks even after you’ve gotten out of the hospital.
Oftentimes, your orthopedic specialist may also recommend physical therapy to help strengthen your joints and regain your range of motion. At Lancaster Orthopedic Group, our physical therapists are in the same office, so we’ll work together to implement a personalized treatment plan for you.
Risks of Joint Replacement Surgery
Like any procedure, there are risks associated with joint replacement surgery. And we want to make sure you’re prepared for all scenarios. Keep in mind, these types of surgeries have a 90% success rate. However, some possible complications include
- Wound infections.
- Blood clotting.
- Nerve Injury.
If you start to experience any of these complications, it’s crucial to contact your doctor immediately so a plan of treatment can be implemented.
As you begin preparing for your joint replacement surgery, make sure all your questions are answered and your concerns are assured. Our specialists are here from the first appointment to post-recovery to get you back to feeling your best.
Have questions as you prepare for your joint replacement surgery? Call our office at 717.560.4200 to speak to a specialist.