Joint replacement surgery is an area within orthopedic medicine where surgeons perform a range of joint replacement procedures that help patients suffering from severe joint pain. During a joint replacement procedure, the damaged joint is removed by the surgeon and an artificial joint, also called an implant, is inserted in its place.
While joint replacement is performed on many joints in the body, some are more common, such as the knee and hip. In the case of a knee or hip replacement, a patient will need to avoid bearing weight on the knee or hip immediately after the surgery. However, part of the rehabilitation process includes moving and using the new joint as it heals, and a patient typically undergoes physical therapy soon after surgery.
Surgeons who perform joint replacement may recommend either a total joint replacement or a partial replacement. However, before recommending any joint replacement surgery, joint replacement surgeons will always perform a comprehensive assessment of a patient. This not only includes diagnosing their condition but considering other factors such as their age and overall health before recommending joint replacement. Sometimes, the surgeon may recommend something other than joint replacement as treatment. For instance, if the patient is obese, losing weight could take pressure off the joint and help improve the issue.
However, if joint replacement is the best treatment option, joint doctors have the high-level skills and medical expertise to perform the surgery. Before surgery, the doctor will educate the patient and offer preoperative care so that person can be well-prepared for their upcoming procedure. After surgery, the bone gradually begins to grow onto the artificial implant, and what results is often reduced or eliminated pain and the ability to use the joint again.
What Your Doctor Needs to Know
When you make an appointment with a doctor or surgeon, you’ll have an opportunity to describe your pain. Doing so can help your doctor better understand the extent of your condition. Here are some issues you may be noticing that you’ll want to share with your doctor:
- Bending knee or moving affected joint causes significant pain
- Bones feel as if they are rubbing against each other
- Joint range of motion is extremely limited
- Nonsurgical treatments, such as injections or nerve blocks, are ineffective
- Relying more and more on an assistive device, like a cane
- Sleeping through the night is difficult due to arthritis or joint pain
Common Issues That May Require Joint Replacement Surgery
Your specialist may diagnose you with one of the following joint conditions:
- Avascular necrosis: Condition that causes bone tissue to die because of a lack of blood.
- Fracture: Sometimes fractures can be repaired without surgery. Other times, an orthopedic surgery might be the best option, such as knee replacement.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis causes cartilage to degenerate. If the degeneration is severe, a surgical procedure may be required, such as hip resurfacing, partial knee replacement, hip replacement surgery, or another total joint replacement surgery.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This arthritic condition is a chronic inflammatory disease that can attack many joints, such as the knee or hip. A surgery like knee replacement or hip replacement might be the best treatment option.
Once you are diagnosed, your doctor will first consider all nonsurgical treatment options, such as physical therapy or injections, before recommending surgery. However, if these treatments prove to be ineffective, they will explain why and then tell you about the type of surgery they believe will be best for you. If joint replacement surgery is required, our surgeons have extensive training in the latest surgical procedures. Use the links below to learn more about the procedures offered at Tahoe Forest Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.
When you have joint pain, it can take a toll on your whole life. Our joint replacement specialists are not only medical experts, but they’re also knowledgeable professionals who want to do more than just treat your joint; they want to help you attain a better quality of life. To schedule an appointment, call (530) 587-7461 or request an appointment online.
Exceptional Care Begins at Tahoe Forest Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
At Tahoe Forest Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our team of dedicated orthopedic experts is here for you. As specialty-trained and knowledgeable joint replacement surgeons, Dr. Jeffrey Dodd, Dr. John Foley, Dr. Paul Haeder, Dr. Jonathan Hagen, and Dr. Andrew Ringnes are backed by the latest state-of-the-art technology and have extensive experience to bring you the very best in orthopedic care. Our joint replacement doctors have the surgical expertise you need to reach your goals.
If you have a joint injury or condition, call (530) 587-7461 to schedule an appointment with one of our expert joint replacement surgeons or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations in Truckee and Incline Village.