Our joints take more stress than nearly any other part of our bodies. They bend and flex, absorb impacts while walking and running, can be strained or overextended during athletic competition and do so much more day in and day out. It’s also why joint replacement and joint revision surgeries are so important to alleviate pain and restore full range of motion and mobility for those with a joint issue.
Conditions and Procedures
Physicians at UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine have performed countless joint repair, joint replacement and joint revision surgeries, helping patients recover their mobility and reduce or eliminate pain. Procedures include:
- Anterior hip replacement
- Posterior hip replacement
- Hip revision surgery
- Full knee replacement
- Partial knee replacement
- Kneecap replacement
- Knee revision surgery
Hip & Knee Services
The fellowship-trained and experienced surgeons at UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine have decades of combined experience with hip and knee replacement and revision surgeries. Our doctors have worked and trained at such prestigious and well-known facilities as the Cleveland Clinic and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and provide comprehensive medical care – including surgical and nonsurgical options – for patients with a wide variety of conditions.
If you suffer from pain and loss of function in your hips or knees, you might want to consider or learn more about whether a joint replacement might be right for you. Speaking with a doctor can help you learn whether you may benefit from a nonsurgical approach or are a candidate for joint replacement. Get answers to questions you may have regarding how long a new joint would last, how long the recovery is and what type of follow-up care you’ll need in this article.
There are many nonsurgical alternatives to joint replacement that can be done prior to or while your waiting for surgery. Some of these alternatives include medications, injections, special exercise programs and physical therapy. Find out about other nonsurgical options here.
In full knee replacement surgery, the entirety of the knee joint is replaced by implants, while partial knee surgery may be an option if only one portion of the knee joint has been damaged or affected. Determining the right surgery depends upon your individual condition and the overall health of your joint. Learn more about the differences between these two types of surgeries here.
Where will I go and what will happen after my surgery? Will I return home or do I need to go to an inpatient recovery facility? These are among the most common questions asked by patients who are deciding on whether they should get a joint replacement or not. Click here to read more about what to expect after your surgery.
Having a surgery such as a hip or knee replacement can be intimidating, and many people are anxious about their recovery and dealing with post-operative pain. There are many different options that can help, ranging from traditional “RICE” (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) recommendations to the prescribing of pain control medications. Read more about what you can do to relieve pain in your hip or knee in the days following your surgery in this article.
Many active patients are concerned about returning to their normal life and activities after surgery, which may include playing sports. Over the past few years, there have been many advancements in knee replacement surgery that have improved the mobility and longevity of the joint, and having a replacement doesn’t mean the end of your athletics. Here is some information to help learn when or how you will be able to resume playing sports or engaging in other athletic activities after knee replacement.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is one option that may help manage osteoarthritis in the knee or hip, and injections can be done right in the office. The theory is that the use of these injections can contribute to tissue healing and pain relief in the affected joint. Currently, research is still being done on exactly what type of conditions these injections can treat and the extent of the benefits of PRP injections. Click here to learn more.
Osteoarthritis is caused by a loss of the cartilage that normally covers the ends of bones where they meet, particularly in areas of the body like the knee and hip joints. Eventually, as this cartilage is lost, osteoarthritis can lead to pain and stiffness in the joint and even deformity that can cause loss of motion or immobility. Learn more about osteoarthritis and the way it can affect your bones and joints here.
Stem cell injection therapies use undifferentiated – or precursor – cells injected into the knee joint, and have shown some limited regenerative capabilities in early studies. Our understanding of stem cell therapy continues to evolve and more research is needed. Read more about this procedure and stem cell therapies here.
While there is no definitive answer to how long a total joint replacement will last, typically replacements continue to function as expected for 15 to 20 years. However, both hip and knee replacements have an annual failure rate between 0.5 and 1.0 percent, which means 90 to 95 percent of replacements last for a decade and 80 to 90 percent will last 20 years or longer. As the technology used in implants continues to improve, these rates may further decline and increase replacement longevity. No matter what, patients should continue to have follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor replacement performance and discuss any concerns about its function.
While knee and hip implants differ by manufacturer and the recommendation of your surgeon, the different devices used today have some similarities that will be fairly consistent.
For hip replacements, the ball portion will typically be made of a cobalt-chromium alloy or ceramic, while the liner will be made of plastic (polyethylene), ceramic or metal. These are then combined, leading to a ball-liner combination, such as metal on poly, ceramic on ceramic, and so on. Most common is metal or ceramic on poly, but your surgeon can discuss the different advantages of each in determining the right implant for you.
In knee replacements, there are two features that often drive the type of implant – the patient’s gender and the rotating platform. Implants today tend to be designed to accommodate gender differences in the knee joint, which helps provide more exact sizing to replicate the function of the natural knee. The rotating platform design uses a plastic bearing on a metal tray versus a fixed plastic bearing used historically, and offers more natural movement that is more similar to proper knee function.
Minimally invasive surgery refers to a surgical approach that allows for smaller incisions and less intrusion into the tissues surrounding the surgical site. Using this approach offers many advantages, including less damage to the surrounding muscles, tendons and other tissues that can help accelerate the healing process. Minimally invasive procedures also mean less blood loss during surgery, and may also lead to reduced pain after your operation.
While you may have heard of robotic-assisted or computer-assisted surgery, it may or may not be used in your specific replacement operation. Your surgeon can discuss their approach with you before your surgery, including if they use these technologies, why they choose to use them in a given surgery and the experience that they have had with using these devices in their procedures.
The incision necessary to complete a given joint replacement will vary depending on the type of surgery, the complexity of the operation, a patient’s size and the preference of the surgeon. Incision size is also not tied to improved surgical outcomes for pain or recovery and may, in some cases, negatively impact the ability of your surgeon to perform the procedure. Discuss any concerns you may have with your surgeon to understand more about incisions with your specific replacement.