Your Guide to Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint pain is very common in many patients, especially those older than 50. Conservative treatment, such as physical therapy, pain medication, rest, etc are often enough to relieve the joint pain. However, there are times when conservative treatment is not enough. In these cases, your doctor will recommend joint replacement surgery to relieve joint pain. The cause of joint pain varies among patients. Two main reasons include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage, the cushion between the bones, wears away which makes the joints painful and stiff. Rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling and pain in the joints which normally causes the joints to deform. Another common reason for joint pain can be severe injury. 

At BEST, we see surgery as a last resort option. With that being said, we only recommend surgery after months of conservative treatment options have been explored with little to no relief. If you are in a position where surgery has become an option, consider going through this guide to learn about BEST’s joint replacement procedures. 

Minimally Invasive Joint Replacement

At BEST, we believe one of the most important aspects of a patient’s journey to wellness is patient education. This is especially true when it comes to considering any sort of surgical procedure. We understand that surgery can be a cause for stress but it does not have to be. As long as our patients are well educated in what a surgical procedure entails, they can feel confident in their decision. The following are three main joint replacement procedures our surgeons at BEST perform.

Knee Replacement Procedure/Recovery

In preparation for total knee replacement surgery, a patient will receive preoperative instructions once after their evaluation. The evaluation is to determine whether or not they are a good candidate for surgery. The surgery itself typically follows these basic steps:

  • To access the joint, your surgeon will make one or more incisions
  • Your surgeon will remove portions of the upper/lower joint surfaces
  • The joint surface will be replaced with a prosthetic and a medical-grade spacer to enable smooth motion between joints

It may take between one and two hours to complete the procedure. It is possible to perform a total knee replacement using minimally invasive techniques in an outpatient setting. As part of the recovery process, patients will follow guidelines for incision care and a timeline for returning to normal activities. Physical therapy is often used to help patients regain strength and mobility after surgery. 

Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery Procedure Overview

Shoulder replacement surgery involves many different approaches, including different implant types and levels of invasiveness. In a total shoulder replacement, both the ball of the upper arm joint and the socket of the shoulder joint are replaced with custom-fitted prosthetic replacements that serve the exact purpose of the joint. 

Using direct visualization equipment, surgeons are able to access the shoulder and perform total joint replacements with less disruption to soft tissues. An outpatient shoulder replacement is even possible. 

Total Hip Replacement Procedure

Once a surgeon has consulted with the patient and performed an evaluation to determine if they are a good potential candidate for surgery, a total hip replacement procedure will typically consist of the following steps:

  • Accessing the hip
  • Using precision techniques to remove the very top of the upper femur and replace it with a prosthesis
  • Removing damaged tissue from the socket and replacing it with a corresponding implant and spacer
  • Resetting the hip and any supporting soft tissue
  • The surgeon will close the surgical site

Depending on the patient, the procedure can take one to two hours. These types of surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis using minimally invasive techniques and advanced surgical technology, allowing for a shorter hospital stay. For the healing process to be successful, supporting muscles will need to be rebuilt and the function of the new hip joint will need to be increased, which will require physical therapy and rehabilitation.

How BEST Health System Can Help

At BEST Health System, we perform these joint replacement surgeries as well as other procedures. Our minimally invasive surgical options require an incision of less than one inch. Dr. Girton and Dr. Abbott, our board-certified surgeons, perform BEST’s minimally invasive procedures on an outpatient basis. In comparison with traditional surgery, minimally invasive procedures are more effective. The muscle-sparing techniques we use result in a faster recovery time, lower risk for complications, and no overnight stay in the hospital. In addition to minimally invasive procedures we also now offer physical therapy as a treatment option as well as MRI as a diagnostic imaging option. 

BEST strives to help you get back to the activities and people you love. If you want to learn more about BEST Health System and what we offer, feel free to contact us today.