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Joint Replacement/Surgery

A joint replacement surgery removes the damaged joint and replaces it with a new prosthetic one. A joint is any place in the body where the ends of two bones meet such as the hip, knee or shoulder. It is not unusual for joints to wear down over time. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are common side effects of wear and tear, arthritis, and other joint conditions. When the pain becomes so extreme that medication and physical therapy cannot help, joint replacement surgery is usually recommended.

Joint replacement surgery utilizes a prosthetic joint, a device that is usually made of a combination of metal, ceramic, and/or plastic. Artificial joints are designed to replicate the movement of a native joint. The prosthesis can be attached to the bone with acrylic cement or can be press-fitted to allow the bone to grow into the implant. The prosthesis will mimic the shape and movement of the joint it is replacing.

A prosthetic joint may last 15 to 20 years, depending on use and activity level. Younger patients may need to have a joint replaced more than once.

Types of Joint Replacement

Golden State Orthopedics & Spine (GSOS) surgeons have experience and focused training on replacement of various orthopedic body parts, from a total hip replacement to the STAR method of replacing the ankle joint.

We perform the following joint replacement surgeries:

Our team has a long history of performing joint replacement surgeries. We keep up with the latest advancements and technological evolutions to provide our patients with excellent care and improved quality of life.

Possible Risks of Joint Replacement Surgery

The risks associated with a joint replacement are similar to any surgery. These include risk of infection, pain, allergic reaction to anesthesia, excessive bleeding or other complications. Each patient’s orthopedic surgeon will thoroughly discuss the specific risks associated with the replacement surgery prior to treatment.

Replacement surgeries usually take a few hours, with the time differing depending on what is being replaced and the individual’s specific condition.

Depending on the joint being replaced the surgical team will either provide the patient with general (whole body) or regional anesthesia. The team will then perform the replacement surgery removing the damaged joint and replacing it with a new prosthetic joint.

After surgery, the patient could need to stay in the hospital for observation. Patients typically receive physical therapy soon after surgery. The specifics of each surgery will be thoroughly discussed with the patient prior to surgery.

After the short recovery period, a patient should plan on physical therapy treatment to increase movement to the affected body area. Patients might start physical therapy the day of surgery to help regain motion.

Each injury can require a different type and length of physical therapy and follow-up care. The orthopedic surgeon and care team will discuss all post-operative care with patients prior to treatment.

Some surgeries will require the patient to use crutches or a walker afterward. Temporary pain after a joint replacement surgery is common. This is because the muscles are weak from not being used, and the body is adjusting to the new joint and the tissue healing. The pain should last a few weeks or months and can be helped with medication.