FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

by Dr. Benigno A. Agbayani Jr.

If you are like most potential patients, you have many questions about total joint replacement. As you explore the possibility of joint replacement surgery, your orthopedic surgeon is your best resource. Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions:

1. What are some of the more common causes of arthritis or joint damage?

kneepainOsteoarthritis is the most common cause of joint destruction. This often begins after the age of 50 and is mainly due to degenerative or age related and gradual wear of joint surface tissues or cartilage. Other common causes joint destruction include rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis of bone and post-traumatic or injury caused arthritis, all of which lead to pain and difficulty in moving the affected joint.

2. Can arthritis be treated without having surgery?

Presently, osteoarthritis and many other diseases of the joint cannot be cured. The disease process in degenerative joint problems can be slowed down or modified and the pain can only be temporarily alleviated with various analgesics, anti-inflammatory medications, joint injections, viscosupplementation, physical therapy, and even acupuncture. Eventually these forms of treatment are not going to be helpful anymore and a joint replacement may then become necessary.

3. What is total joint replacement?

Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which certain parts of an arthritic or damaged joint, such as a hip or knee joint, are removed and replaced with a plastic or metal device called prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed to enable the artificial joint to move just like a normal, healthy joint.

hip replacement2kneeprosthesis2

Hip & Knee Prosthesis

4. How long will joint replacement last?

Advancing technology has significantly increased the life of total joint implants. Still, just as your original joint wore out, a joint replacement will wear over time as well. The life expectancy of your implant will depend on your age, weight, activity level and medical condition. Every patient is different, and we cannot guarantee that any implant will last for any specific length of time.

5. How will I know if I am candidate for joint replacement surgery?

Total joint replacement is usually reserved for patients who have severe arthritic conditions. Most patients who have artificial hip or knee joints are over 55 years of age, but the operation is being performed in greater numbers on younger patients thanks to new advances in artificial joint technology.

Circumstances vary, but generally patients are considered for total joint replacement if:

    • Functional limitations restrict not only work and recreation, but also the ordinary activities of daily living
    • Pain is not relieved by more conservative methods or treatment, such as those described above, by the use of a cane, and by restricting activities
    • Stiffness in the joint is significant
    • X-rays show advanced arthritis or other problems

6. What are the kinds of joint surgery available to me at the moment?

Joint surgeries include arthroscopic surgery a minimally invasive method of looking inside a joint and repairing cartilage or removing foreign bodies from the joint. Corrective Osteotomy is also another option, which helps to correct the alignment of a joint and delay if not prevent the need for a joint replacement. In some cases, partial or only some part of a joint need to be replaced or resurfaced. In the more severe cases, total joint replacement may be the only option.

 

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Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:48

7. What are the major risks of joint replacement surgery?

While risks are low, they do exist. The two most serious complications are infection and blood clots. To avoid these problems, we use antibiotics and blood thinners. We also take special precautions in the operating room to reduce the risk of infections.

8. What are the things that will disqualify me from having a joint replacement?

You will be disqualified in undergoing joint replacement when you have active infections in your joints, recent heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and similar conditions that are life-threatening. However, most of this may be improved with proper care from your internist or physician.

9. What are the advantages of having a joint replacement?

happyThe main reason people decide to undergo a joint replacement is unbearable pain, which is severe enough to interfere with their quality of life. Oftentimes, other treatment methods such as pain medications and physical therapy have not improved their condition that is when you need to undergo joint replacement. Aside from pain relief, patients who undergo a joint replacement could expect improved function, improved mobility, and an improvement in their quality of life.

10. How long or how difficult is the surgery?

On the average, a joint replacement surgery takes nearly about 30 minutes to one hour on the average. Joint replacement is a specialized procedure in Orthopedic surgery and in order to increase the chances of a good outcome and eliminate the risks, it is important that your Orthopedic surgeon should have undergone adequate training in joint replacement after finishing general orthopedics.

11. What should I expect after surgery?

In the Hospital - The day of surgery our staff will help you sit on the side of the bed. You will have discomfort following surgery, but we will try to keep you comfortable with the appropriate medications. You may have an IV with a special pump that will allow you to control your own medicine. Most patients are able to stop very strong medication within one day.intheor

The day after surgery, you will already be walking with the help of a walker or crutches.

Discharge - Most patients stay in the hospital 2-3 days and are able to go directly home. Some patients may transfer to a sub-acute facility, where they will stay for 3-5 days. Our social worker or case manager will help you with this decision and make the necessary arrangements.

At Home - For the first several days or weeks, depending on your progress, you will need someone to assist you at home. If possible, plan to get assistance from family or friends.

12. How much does it cost to have a joint replacement?

Costs will vary depending on the implants used and the chosen hospital. AOJR provides patients with the flexibility of choosing which hospital to be admitted to and which implant brand to use. Of course, before making that decision, we would thoroughly discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of your options. Credit card payments can also be arranged through our main office.

To know more about rates please contact us directly.

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FAQ page 3 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 08:49

13. What are the risks of joint replacement surgery?

Complications are rare but they do happen. Some of the few risks are:

Blood clots. Blood clots may form in the legs after surgery. Blood-thinning medications, compression stockings, and exercise will reduce this risk. Most infections are treated with antibiotics, but major infections may require surgery to remove and replace the prosthesis. If you are undergoing dental, gynaecologic, bladder or bowel surgery it may be good to take protective antibiotics to prevent infection of the joint.

Loosening. Over time, your new joint may loosen, causing pain. Surgery might be needed to fix the problem

Dislocation. Certain positions can cause the ball of the hip joint, if you have hip replacement surgery, to become dislodged. To avoid this, don't bend more than 90 degrees at the hip and don't let your leg cross the midline of your body.

14. Will I need home medical or assistive equipment?

Yes, we recommend that you use a walker, cane, or crutches for about six weeks. You may also benefit from assistive devices to help with lower body dressing, a bath seat, and grab bars in the bathroom. If you have hip replacement surgery, you will also need a high toilet seat for about three months. Our social worker or case manager can arrange for equipment you will need.

15. Will I need physical therapy or an exercise program?

Yes, both are essential for recovery. The number of physical therapy sessions varies for each patient, but exercise must be a lifetime commitment. Your surgeon and physical therapist will design an exercise program for you.

16. What are the activities I am allowed to do after a successful joint replacement?

arthritis_painRunning or jumping is not encouraged for patients who have undergone knees and hips replacement. Brisk walking, cycling, golf, and other less strenuous exercises are allowed and even encouraged. Some precautions are also advised when traveling for long durations by airplane or with high altitude transportation.

17. When can I resume regular activities after undergoing joint replacement surgery?

Driving - If the surgery was on your left side and you have an automatic transmission, you could be driving at two weeks. If the surgery was on your right side, your driving could be restricted as long as six weeks.

businessncomputersWorking - We recommend that most people take at least one month off work. You may be able to work sooner if your job is sedentary and you can use crutches at work. Your physical therapist can make recommendations for joint protection and energy conservation on the job.

Activity - Your surgeon and physical therapist will share many more details related to walking, using stairs, and resuming recreational activities like dancing and more.

 

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This 2015 AOJR wants to talk to you and your community about arthritis. Take part and join us in  promoting awareness about the social, emotional and health impact of arthritis as well as its evidence based treatments. Help us improve lives by creating awareness. You can contact us by calling 710-8292 or email us at jointspecialists@aojr.ph 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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