All About Total Joint Replacement Surgery
Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure done to replace a damaged joint. During total joint replacement, the damaged joint is replaced with a prosthesis made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. The most common total joint replacement (TJR) surgery is knee and hip replacement.
Who needs this surgery?
There are various reasons a person may need TJR. Unsuccessful attempted conservative treatments are the main reason the doctor may recommend surgery. Conservative treatments include pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, assisted devices, and modifying activities. Certain medical conditions like arthritis can cause severe joint pain and disability. If the pain interferes with daily activities, the patient may require surgery. If joint pain doesn’t go away, seeing a healthcare provider to determine the next steps is a good idea.
After the operation
After total joint replacement, the patient may experience pain, a normal part of the healing process. The pain is temporary and can be controlled with medication. Vital signs are monitored, and a liquid or soft diet is usually introduced. The surgeon will typically advise rest and keeping the joint elevated. The surgeon and nurse will also ensure the surgical site is kept sterile.
Recovering from total joint replacement is different for every patient. The recovery rate depends on many factors such as age, past medical history, lifestyle, activity level, and the new joint. After surgery, the doctor usually recommends physical therapy to accelerate recovery time. The healthcare provider can advise how to care for the joint and when to return to normal activities.
Exercise is vital for recovery
Physical therapy is essential to achieve great results. Exercising the involved muscles and joints re-establishes strength and movement. The patient may be required to get up and move shortly after surgery. Moving more than a few steps in the moment may be challenging, but early mobility soon after surgery can be helpful in the long run. When trying out exercises or joining a physical therapy program, follow the healthcare provider’s instructions carefully.
After a joint replacement surgery, most patients can return to daily activities relatively soon. A new joint can last up to 10-15 years but varies for each patient. Due to the long-lasting duration of a new joint, the patient’s overall health and quality of life are improved. With a new joint, strength, mobility, and movement are greatly improved. If the new joint debilitates at any time, speak to the surgeon about a possible revision of the new joint.
So, what’s the exact recovery time?
The time to recover from total joint replacement is about 3 months. Most patients do well after this amount of time, but some may take longer to recuperate. During recovery, patients will have follow-up visits with the doctor to check the status of the replaced joint.