Total Joint Replacement

What is total joint replacement?

The goal of joint replacement is to ease pain and restore motion to knees, hips and other joints damaged by trauma, arthritis or wear and tear associated with age. Our specialists offer the most advanced joint replacement techniques and treatments available.

During a total or partial joint replacement, some or all of the damaged parts in your affected joint will be surgically removed and replaced with new artificial components. Advances in technology have improved not only the patient experience during this procedure but, ultimately, the outcomes for patients and the life spans of the implanted devices.

What to consider before total joint replacement

Your physician will begin the process by evaluating your medical history and X-ray images, reviewing your symptoms, discussing your goals and evaluating the progression of the condition that causes your pain and limitations. Conservative treatment options, including physical therapy, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, localized injections and behavior or weight modification may be recommended prior to considering surgery.

Where to receive a total joint replacement

If you elect to proceed with a total joint replacement, we have a team of total joint replacement surgeons offering same-day, outpatient total joint replacement. This procedure enables patients to have their joint replacement in a comfortable, quiet surgery center. Upon completion of the procedure, the patient is able to go home where he or she can begin recovery in a familiar environment supported by family and friends. Patients who have their joints replaced in this setting rave about their experiences and experience very positive outcomes after surgery. Some of the additional benefits include better pain management, a lower risk of complications and an improved attitude and mindset during recovery.

We also perform total joint replacement surgery at several area hospitals. Outcomes in these facilities are also very positive, and pending the release from their surgeons, patients may go home in a day or less.

Exciting, new advances in diagnostic medicine are helping our Precision Sports & Ortho physicians treat pain caused by joint or soft tissue problems. Through the use of diagnostic and interventional ultrasound, our orthopaedic specialists are combining technology with the body’s natural ability to heal itself to help competitive athletes and weekend warriors reduce pain and remain active.

Traditionally, the success of injection procedures such as office-directed cortisone injections was limited according to the clinician’s anatomical impression and the patient’s feedback. There was no way to actually observe the position of the needle in relation to the diseased tissue at the time of injection. Some of these “blind” injections worked well but some were less successful, creating the necessity for doctors to use ultrasound-guided injections to improve results.

Physicians were also limited to the use of corticosteroid injections, which at times would provide a fairly rapid short-term response, due to their potential anti-inflammatory properties. These injections do not treat the actual cause of the problem, though; only the symptoms. Repeated cortisone injections over time may also have a negative effect on tendon and muscle tissue. If a patient has had one or two blind cortisone injections with limited relief, an ultrasound guided approach may help provide greater accuracy thanks to its real-time imaging capability. The procedure is also typically covered by insurance.

Another recent interventional option includes the expanding field of regenerative injections. This approach has drawn the attention of college and professional athletes alike who want to optimize their return to competition after an injury. The premise is to stimulate migration or actually inject one’s own growth factors, including platelet rich plasma (PRP), autologous whole blood, or mild proliferants like dextrose or sodium morrhuate, in diseased tendons or ligaments under direct visualization (ultrasound) where the structure has become stagnant and insufficient.

Regenerative treatment takes time to work effectively, especially in chronic conditions, so patience is a pre-requisite for success. Although controversial in many circles, the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound combined with regenerative treatment trials may be worth a try if traditional nonsurgical options have been exhausted and an athlete is still unable to return to their sport or exercise. Even though regenerative procedures are generally not covered by insurance, they carry a reasonable cost and may provide a good option for those serious about returning to a demanding physical regimen. For those dedicated to fitness, it should be considered hopefully as a natural step and investment in exchange for years of continued health and activity.

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Affiliated with Brookwood Baptist Health Primary and Specialty Care Network