Joint Replacement


 


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Hip Replacement
 

What is a hip replacement?

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure to replace and restore your hip if you’re experiencing chronic pain or impaired functioning. It’s one of the most successful operations in all of medicine, and it’s a relatively common procedure, with over 300,000 instances happening in the United States every year.

Your hip replacement can either be partial or full. 

Partial hip replacement

In a partial hip replacement (hemiarthroplasty), your surgeon replaces the ball portion (femoral head) of your hip and leaves your joint socket (acetabulum) intact. 


Full hip replacement

In a full or total hip replacement, your surgeon implants a prosthetic shell into your joint socket, in addition to replacing your femoral head.

 

Why would I need a hip replacement?

Your hip has a ball-and-socket anatomy that cartilage lines. Cartilage is slick and numb, which makes it an excellent material to coat the ball and socket and facilitate a wide range of complex and fluid motions. 

If you develop a problem with the cartilage in your hip or hip disease progresses beyond the limitations of hip preservation measures, you might need a hip replacement to treat it fully. Hip replacement is a last resort if hip preservation doesn’t work.

There are a few different conditions that can impair the functioning of your hip and cause chronic pain, like a physical injury or childhood hip disease, but the most common causes of hip replacement are: 

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis 

 

Each type of arthritis can damage the cartilage in your hip joint, leaving the raw bone of your ball to rub up against the raw bone of your socket.

 

Do I need a hip replacement?

Most people come to discover that they need a hip replacement as a result of pain. An arthritic hip is an uncomfortable hip, and that discomfort can worsen to the point where it limits your daily activities and interferes with your sleep.

The specialists at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., evaluate your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and take imaging, like X-rays or MRI, to determine if a hip replacement would benefit your condition. Hip replacement is typically the final option taken for treating a painful or dysfunctional hip, but it’s an incredibly effective and successful treatment method.

 

What’s involved in getting a hip replacement?

When you get a hip replacement, your orthopaedic surgeon resurfaces or replaces the areas of your hip joint that’s lacking in cartilage. Using metal, plastic, or ceramic components, a hip replacement restores the surfaces of your hip joint so that they function properly and do not cause pain.

You receive general anesthesia for the procedure, which typically takes one to two hours. You can expect to spend two or three days recovering in the hospital before going home, at which point you can begin rehabilitation/physical therapy to restore your normal gait, improve functioning, and strength.

Schedule a consultation by phone or online with Western Orthopaedics, P.C., today, and learn more about how a hip replacement can improve your quality of life.

Knee Replacement
 

What is a knee replacement?

Knee replacement is a surgical procedure you might require when you have knee pain that isn’t improving using other, more conservative treatments. 

The most common reason for requiring knee replacement is arthritis. Although arthritis comes in multiple forms, the one that causes a problem for most people is osteoarthritis. This is a wear and tear disorder that develops from years of everyday use of your joints. 

Over the years, the cartilage covering the ends of your bones wears down. This exposes the bones, and they start rubbing against each other. Inflammation then sets in, followed by pain, swelling, and joint stiffness.

 

Initial treatments for osteoarthritis include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Joint injections
  • Regenerative medicine

 

Although these treatments are usually very effective in relieving pain and improving joint function, in time, they might not work so well. This is because the degeneration of your joints has become so bad that knee replacement is the only way of resolving your symptoms.

Would I need a total or partial knee replacement?

Whether you require a total or partial knee replacement depends on the health of your knees.

Total knee replacement

Total knee replacement surgery involves replacing the worn-out joint surfaces in your knee with artificial components. This approach is best when all the parts of your knee joint have damage that is beyond repair. The result is a new knee joint that works in a very similar way to your original, healthy knee. A total knee replacement has three components. There’s a metal cap that goes over the end of your femur (thigh bone), a stemmed metal component with a plastic plate that fits over the top of your tibia (shin bone), and a dome-shaped plastic component that fits on your patella (knee cap).

Partial knee replacement

Some patients have one or two parts of their knee joints that are still healthy enough to keep. In this case, your provider at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., can replace the sections that are badly damaged, and smooth off or shape your bones to fit with the new components. Partial knee replacement is less common when you have arthritis because all three joint surfaces tend to be affected by the condition.

What is revision total knee replacement?

Revision total knee replacement is a more complicated procedure that you might need to have if anything goes wrong with an existing knee replacement.

Generally, total and partial knee replacement surgeries are one of the most successful operations you can have. However, it’s possible for the artificial parts to go wrong, causing joint problems with your replacement knee. You should contact Western Orthopaedics, P.C., if you have a replacement knee and you’re experiencing issues such as:

    • Stiffness
    • Instability
    • Swelling
    • Pain

Using revision total knee replacement, your provider can replace any faulty artificial components and ensure your knee is healthy, resolving the problem.

If you’re a good candidate for the procedure, knee replacement could enable you to live a far more active life and relieve you from chronic knee pain.

Call Western Orthopaedics, P.C., today to find out more or request an appointment online.

 

Shoulder Replacement
 

Why would I need a shoulder replacement?

You might need a shoulder replacement if you have shoulder pain or problems with the joint for which there’s no other suitable treatment. In most cases, shoulder pain is the result of one of four main causes:

  • Inflamation
  • Instability
  • Arthritis
  • Fracture

Your shoulder joint is the most versatile, flexible joint in your body. However, the extended range of motion your shoulder is capable of can sometimes lead to joint discomfort or pain.

Symptoms of shoulder conditions include: 

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Popping sensation
  • Grinding feeling
  • Limited mobility
  • Problems reaching overhead
  • Difficulty sleeping

Initial treatments for shoulder problems include conservative measures such as physical therapy, medication, joint injections, and regenerative medicine techniques. However, if these treatments aren’t proving effective, or the damage to your shoulder joint is too extensive, you might need a shoulder replacement.

What conditions might lead to shoulder replacement?

The condition that’s most likely to lead to the need for shoulder replacement is osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease). This is a wear and tear disorder that typically affects people over 50, although it can develop at any age.

Everyday use of the joint leads to a gradual wearing away of the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones. The bones then start rubbing and irritating each other, causing inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is incurable, and conservative treatments may only be useful for so long before the joint deteriorates too much.

Other conditions that could lead to the need for a shoulder replacement include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Rotator cuff tear arthropathy
  • Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis)
  • Severe fractures
  • Failed previous shoulder replacement surgery 

If you’ve been having treatment for a shoulder problem but you’re not feeling the benefits, Western Orthopaedics, P.C., has surgeons with specialized skills in performing shoulder replacement surgery.

How is shoulder replacement carried out?

To carry out your shoulder replacement, your surgeon at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., needs to remove the damaged sections of the joint and replace them with a prosthesis composed of artificial joint components. The parts that your surgeon can replace are the head of the humerus, which forms a ball shape, and the socket (glenoid) in your shoulder blade.

If the whole of your shoulder joint is too damaged to save, your surgeon replaces the entire joint (total joint replacement). Some patients have bones that aren’t as badly affected, so only one component needs replacing (hemiarthroplasty). If you have a severely torn rotator cuff, you might need a reverse total shoulder replacement.

Your provider at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., can advise you which shoulder replacement option is best for your situation. Call today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment online.

  

Elbow Replacement

What is elbow replacement?

Elbow replacement is a surgical procedure that involves taking out the damaged sections of bone in your elbow joint and replacing them with an artificial joint.

Your elbow consists of three bones that work together to create a hinge. These three bones are the:

  • Humerus (upper arm bone)
  • Ulna (outside forearm bone)
  • Radius (inside forearm bone)

These three bones meet to form the elbow joint, where a combination of cartilage, membrane, and joint fluid keeps everything functioning smoothly. The bones are held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

If one or more of the bones or other essential structures in your elbow is damaged beyond repair, you might need to consider an elbow replacement.

What conditions might require elbow replacement?

Many conditions can cause elbow pain and disability. Most of these respond well to conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medication, joint injections, and regenerative medicine techniques.

The conditions that tend to lead to elbow replacement surgery include:
 

Arthritis

There are numerous types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common kind, caused by the effects of wear and tear over the years. The protective cartilage wears away, the bones rub together, and the result is pain, inflammation, and stiffness that worsens over time.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the next most common type, but it has an entirely different cause. If you have RA, your immune system malfunctions, so it attacks the joint linings. You might also get post-traumatic arthritis in your elbow following a serious injury.
 

Severe fractures

If you have an accident and fracture your elbow, whenever possible, your provider at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., repairs the broken bones. Sometimes fractures are too extensive for repair, and elbow replacement is a better option.

Instability

Elbow instability tends to develop if you’ve had dislocation of the joint that leads to ligament damage. If the ligaments aren’t strong enough, they can’t hold the bones in place, so your elbow won’t work properly.

How is elbow replacement surgery carried out?

When you have total elbow replacement surgery, your provider at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., replaces the damaged ends of your humerus and ulna bones.

The artificial components in the replacement elbow consist of a hinge made of plastic and metal, with two metal stems. These stems fit inside your bones, where there’s a hollow area called the canal. 

There are variations on this standard elbow replacement, so your provider can customize the surgery to fit your exact needs.

If you have elbow pain that isn’t improving despite following a comprehensive treatment program, call Western Orthopaedics, P.C., today or request an appointment online.

 

Ankle Replacement

What is ankle replacement?

Ankle replacement surgery involves removing an ankle joint that has irreparable damage and replacing it with an artificial joint.

Your ankle joint (tibiotalar joint) is a meeting point for your shinbone (tibia), and a bone called the talus in your foot. Like other joints, your ankle can develop arthritis, which causes the protective cartilage on your bones to wear down.

As a result, the bones start rubbing instead of sliding over each other, causing inflammation, swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joint. Osteoarthritis, which is due to wear and tear, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease, are the two most common types of ankle arthritis.

Your ankle could also suffer trauma that’s severe enough to make repairing the joint impossible or could leave you with a permanent weakness.

When would I need ankle replacement?

Ankle replacement can resolve the problems arthritis causes when other treatments aren’t relieving your symptoms.

If you have mild to moderate arthritis, your provider at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., can treat your condition using conservative measures such as:

  • Pain medicines
  • Shoe inserts or orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Regenerative medicine

Alternatives to ankle replacement include arthroscopic debridement (minimally invasive surgery to clear debris and smooth roughened bone), and ankle fusion, which joins the bones in an unstable joint.

These procedures may be suitable for some patients, but ankle replacement might be a better option for regaining optimal function in your ankle.

What happens during ankle replacement surgery?

It takes your surgeon several hours to carry out your ankle replacement surgery. You’ll be under anesthetic and asleep throughout the procedure.

After making one or two incisions into your ankle, your surgeon removes the damaged ends of the bones in your ankle joint. They smooth and shape the bones, then attach the new metal caps. They might use bone cement to fix the artificial bone ends in place.

Between the bones, your surgeon places a plastic spacer that enables the replacement bone ends to glide over each other.

When everything is in place, your surgeon closes the incisions, and you go to the recovery area.

What happens after ankle replacement surgery?

You won’t be able to use your ankle at first following ankle replacement surgery. The joint needs to be immobilized to enable healing to begin, and you need to take pain medication for the first few days, at least.

As your ankle heals, you begin a program of physical therapy to ensure the muscles, tendons, and ligaments don’t weaken or shorten. Physical therapy helps the ankle heal properly and gives you a much better chance of recovering full use of your ankle joint.

If you have disabling arthritis in your ankle that is continuing to worsen despite treatment, ankle replacement could be a good option for you. Call Western Orthopaedics, P.C., today or book an appointment online.

 

Arthritis

What are the most common forms of arthritis?

Arthritis is an overarching term for more than 100 different diseases that cause pain and inflammation in your joints. The most common forms of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis

This form of arthritis is far and away the most prevalent. The disease is degenerative, in which the cartilage inside your joints begins to break down, leaving your bones to rub together painfully. Osteoarthritis is progressive, and there’s no cure, but there are plenty of options for managing the progression and keeping you active and comfortable.


Rheumatoid arthritis

This type of arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the linings inside your joints. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can break down your joints, leading to increasing limitations on your life.


Psoriatic arthritis

This autoimmune disease attacks the connective tissues within your joints, leading to pain and inflammation.


Gout

This iteration of arthritis occurs when uric acid builds up inside your joint, forming sharp crystals that can cause stabbing pain. There are many other forms of arthritis, but these represent the most common culprits.

What are the signs of arthritis?

Since all forms of arthritis involve joint pain and inflammation, these are the two primary symptoms. You may also experience:

  • Increasing stiffness in your joint
  • Redness around your joint
  • Heat around your joint

The bottom line is that if you’re having problems with your joints, the odds are good that arthritis plays a central role.

How is arthritis treated?

Western Orthopaedics, P.C., has extensive experience in helping patients manage arthritis. In most cases, there’s no cure for arthritis, so the goal is to slow the progression and minimize the damage in your joints while keeping you as active as possible.

To do this, your provider turns to a number of different therapies, including:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Disease-specific medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections

If your arthritis is advanced, your orthopaedist may recommend joint replacement surgery. The surgeons at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., use the latest minimally invasive techniques, including arthroscopy, to debride or replace your joints.

To learn more about arthritis care at Western Orthopaedics, P.C., call or request a consultation using the online booking tool.