The place where two bones meet in the body is called a joint. Some joints are fixed, like those in the skull; others are partially movable, such as those in the spine. And then there are those joints that have a much larger range of motion, like the elbow, knee, hip and shoulder. Their incredible range of motion makes using these joints necessary for daily activities -- think walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of the car, and more physical activities such as mowing the grass or playing a round of golf -- but misuse and overuse can become problematic for all of them.
Any time a joint isn’t functioning properly, you experience pain or discomfort, which is the body’s chief warning that something isn’t right. Joint discomfort can occur when the cartilage, or padding, between two joints is worn out. If the level of pain limits your normal daily activities, you might be a candidate for a total joint replacement.
Obtaining a diagnosis
When you meet with your physician to discuss your care, a thorough evaluation will take place. In addition to reviewing your medical history and working to understand the current problem, your physician will conduct a physical exam and review any x-rays you might already have. If further information is necessary to make a diagnosis, your physician might recommend additional testing that could include an MRI, CT, bone scan, nerve test or lab work.
Conditions joint injuries and diseases:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Avascular necrosis
Determining the best path to healing
If your joint pain is keeping you up at night, or preventing you from living an active lifestyle, working with an orthopedic physician will help ensure you receive the best treatment and get you back to doing what you love. The physicians at OID use a conservative approach to joint replacements and work to resolve pain by utilizing physical therapy, rest and sometimes medications to alleviate pain.
In some cases, much-needed relief can be provided by injections of steroids, or a procedure called viscosupplementation, when a lubricating fluid is injected into the joint. When these therapies don’t produce improvement, or in the case of avascular necrosis, a total joint replacement may be recommended by your physician.
When surgery is necessary
With every surgery, there is a recovery period before you’re back to your old self again, and this is no different with joint replacement. However, in the case of joint replacement, you will be encouraged to use your “new” joint shortly after your procedure. Movement and exercise are necessary parts of the recovery process.
If and when you’re ready for surgery, you can rest assured that OID has highly qualified and distinguished professionals utilizing state of the art equipment and cutting-edge procedures. Additionally, we now offer same-day outpatient joint replacement surgery, for those who qualify and who would prefer this approach instead of a hospital stay. Contact your physician for more information.
Our physicians commonly perform:
- Hip replacement, anterior and posterior approach
- Total shoulder replacement
- Reverse total shoulder replacement
- Total knee replacement
- Total ankle replacement