Knee and hip replacement is a metal and plastic covering for unprotected, arthritic bone ends, which replaces cartilage that has worn away over the years. Replacement can eliminate pain and allow you to move easily. For many people who have knee arthritis, it also straightens the leg.
Who Should Have a Knee or Hip Replacement?
When arthritis knee or hip pain severely limits your ability to walk, work or perform even simple activities, consider knee or hip replacement.
Is There an Alternative to Replacement?
Knee or hip replacement is only recommended after careful diagnosis of your joint problem. Arthroscopic or microscopic surgery is not helpful once arthritis is advanced. Nor will anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone injections likely give you the same long-term relief as either knee or hip replacement.
How Long is the Hospital Stay?
The average hospital stay for either knee or hip replacement is 3-5 days. If both knees require replacement, it's usually best to do both at the same time. That way the total disability will be only slightly longer than the operation for one knee and the problem will be solved in the least amount of time. In some cases, fixing just one knee or hip can save the other for two to three years, if the arthritis is not too advanced. Each individual case is different.
How Long is Recuperation?
Each person's recovery follows its own schedule. You may need an assistive device for a few weeks after the operation. You can drive a car in 2-4 weeks. Most people gradually increase in their activities and can slow dance in 6-8 weeks, and play golf, doubles tennis, shuffleboard, or bowl in 12 weeks. More active sports, such as singles tennis and jogging, are not recommended.
What is the Success Rate?
The quality of life improves dramatically following successful replacements, as most orthopedic experts consider it the best method of handling arthritis in the knee or hip. Joint replacements have literally put hundreds of thousands of disabled Americans back on their feet and allowed them to enjoy their golden years.
For more information about a seminar at Lourdes please call Lourdes Center for Orthopedic Care at 607-321-2748 and ask for Mary.