What is total joint surgery?
The team at Southern Oregon Orthopedics performs total joint surgery when you have severe damage to your joints. It involves removing the damaged bone and cartilage within the joint and replacing it with a prosthetic device. The prosthetic is strong and functions just like your natural joint.
The hip and knee joints are the most common joints to undergo this procedure. If you have severe damage in your ankle, shoulder, or elbow, the team at Southern Oregon Orthopedics suggests joint surgery as an option as well.
Total joint surgery aims to restore your flexibility and motion in the affected joint and eliminate chronic or debilitating pain.
When is total joint surgery recommended?
Total joint surgery is an invasive procedure, so it’s only recommended in significant cases of joint disease or injury. Typically, you’re a candidate if you’ve tried several conservative treatments without relief.
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two conditions that lead to severe joint damage and deformity. Both conditions affect the protective tissues in your joint, which leads to inflammation and joint damage. If you experience either of these problems, joint replacement surgery can help.
Severe joint fractures are another reason the team at Southern Oregon Orthopedics recommends total joint surgery. When you break a bone in your hip or knee, it sometimes causes permanent damage to other tissues in your joint. In that case, the only way to treat that damage is by replacing the joint with a prosthetic.
What’s involved in total joint surgery?
Total joint surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. However, in some cases, local anesthetic and sedation may be used. If your condition allows, the team may use minimally invasive techniques to repair your joint.
During the procedure, the team at Southern Oregon Orthopedics removes the damaged areas in the affected joint. Once the area is ready, prosthetics made of metal or ceramics are placed in the joint to restore normal functionality. Surgical cement holds these prosthetics in place.
Once the team finishes the procedure, they close the incision and cover it with a dressing. You’re then taken to the recovery area and either discharged home or taken to a room in the hospital for observation.
How long is the recovery?
Physical therapy is a large part of the recovery process. That helps you to regain normal motion and flexibility in your new joint.
Your pain should subside within a few weeks, and you may be back to your normal activities within six months. However, it could take up to a year to fully recover from a total joint replacement in some cases.
To learn if total joint surgery is an option for you, call one of the offices in Medford or Grants Pass, Oregon, or book a consultation online.