The Joint Solution Team at Rutherford Regional Health System is comprised of orthopedic doctors, nurses, orthopedic surgical technicians, and physical and occupational therapists who specialize in total joint care. But a key member of that team is you, the patient.
If physical therapy, medications and other remedies fail to relieve your joint pain, you may be a candidate for total joint replacement surgery. We consider this to be a last resort, but sometimes it is the best option to improve your quality of life.
Most joint pain is caused by damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones, typically from normal wear and tear that turns into arthritis or from a severe injury like broken bones. For some, the condition is hereditary. There are also occupations, such as construction or house cleaning, that can cause minor repetitive injuries to the knees and can take a toll over time.
Severe pain from advanced arthritis can severely limit your mobility, making it hard for you to perform everyday activities like walking, putting on socks and shoes, getting into and out of cars, and climbing stairs.
We examine and evaluate each patient individually for symptoms that include:
Total knee replacement is the most common procedure, followed by hip replacement. The surgery can be performed on other joints, including the ankle, wrist, shoulder, and elbow. The Joint Solution Coordinator will plan your individual treatment program and review every detail with you, from operation prep to post-operation exercises.
Before considering total knee replacement your doctor will consider non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, joint injections and pain medication. Changes in lifestyle, particularly weight loss or wearing a brace on the weak joint, can help alleviate the weight and pressure on the joint.
Most replacement joints are made from a combination of metal alloy and high-grade plastic. They are very strong and can last for many years.
Physical therapy is important to recovery because it helps the muscles around your new joint get used to the replacement. Many patients are able to stand on a new hip or knee within a day and exercise within two days. Some patients can even run and jump on a new knee or hip within 6 to 12 months.