Health Care

Total Joint Replacement Surgery: Who Needs it and What to Expect

A surgeon puts on a mask.

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We hope you're able to walk, run and dance through your whole life with your healthy natural joints. But if you find that over time your knees or hips have become arthritic and painful, knee or hip replacement surgery might be the best option for you.

Knees, hips and shoulders are now replaceable through advanced technology and leading-edge surgical techniques. We’re here with expert advice from orthopedic surgeon, Donald J. Perry, MD, who explains the criteria for joint replacement surgery candidacy, benefits of having the surgery and what to expect before and after your procedure.

Who Needs Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery?

“Patients who have been suffering from severe arthritis in their knee or hip for years and have exhausted all conservative treatment options are prime candidates for replacement surgery,” explains Dr. Perry.

Conservative treatment options generally include some or all of the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-Inflammatory medications
  • Cortisone injections
  • Viscosupplementation or gel injections

Dr. Perry shares, “Once all these conservative treatment options have been tried and are no longer successful, it’s probably time to start looking at joint replacement surgery as your best option for maintaining your normal, active lifestyle and whole well-being.”

What to Expect Before and After Joint Replacement Surgery

Before Surgery

“After conservative treatment has shown to be ineffective and you’ve decided to go with the surgical route rather than giving up your natural mobility, your general practitioner will need to clear you for surgery,” explains Dr. Perry. “Once that’s done it’s really a very quick and convenient procedure. Most knee and hip replacement surgeries are outpatient procedures. Occasionally, it may require a night spent recovering under observation.”

Our multi-disciplinary team at AdventHealth uses advanced techniques to provide a coordinated pathway to care. The best example of this is the use of muscle-sparing techniques.

Dr. Perry pioneered muscle sparing techniques and was one of the first adopters of these techniques in this area. He has been using muscle sparing surgery in the knee and shoulder since 2008. In addition, custom fabricated instrumentation designed to fit your body and aligned surgically to leave you feeling like the knee has always been yours.

A CT scan may be required before surgery to image your joint so that an identical, arthritis-free, prosthetic joint can be built for you. These important steps of the replacement process not only leave you with a joint best matching your anatomy, but also have been shown to improve healing and recovery time, as well as making for better long-term comfort.

After Surgery

Physical therapy after surgery is essential to recovery.

Dr. Perry says, “The surgery itself usually only lasts less than an hour and after that the recovery is done at home. For the first 2 to 3 weeks home health care will visit to perform physical therapy as needed and after that most patients require an additional 3 weeks of outpatient PT at one of our many convenient clinics.”

“At that point the healing process is about 70 to 80% complete. After 3 months, you should be at 90% with total normality restored within 6 months to a year.”

Personalized, Coordinated Care

Count on our team of orthopedic specialists, like Dr. Perry, to help relieve your pain. With nationally recognized, board-certified experts and the latest minimally invasive orthopedic treatments, we have the tools and the expertise to find long-term solutions for you.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Perry today. You deserve to feel whole.

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