Joint Replacement Basics

For those who have tried everything under the sun to manage their pain but have run out of solutions, a joint replacement surgery may be considered. The most routine replacement areas are the knees, hips, and, less commonly, the shoulders. These replacements are often performed secondary to arthritis, chronic pain, or injury to the joint. A total joint replacement removes parts of the joint that are damaged or have severe arthritis. These parts are replaced with a prosthesis consisting of metal, plastic, or ceramic. 

Preparing for Surgery

Your doctor will perform a routine check up to ensure your health is adequate to undergo a joint replacement surgery. Your surgeon may perform a variety of tests, such as blood tests and cardiac exams to ensure surgical readiness. It is important to prepare physically by eating healthy and continuing to exercise. Strengthening the affected joint prior to having the surgery helps with the recovery process. Think of any assistive devices you may need following surgery and obtain them prior to having the procedure performed.

Following Surgery

Oftentimes, your physician will order home health therapy immediately following your joint replacement surgery, especially for older patients. Home health usually lasts a couple weeks before starting outpatient therapy. Physical therapy is always necessary after a knee replacement, except for the seldom cases with exceptional post surgical recovery. Generally, hip replacements are a quicker recovery process and may not require skilled therapy services. Shoulder replacements always require physical therapy post surgery. 

Our physical therapists are happy to provide service post surgery to get you back on your feet and put your body back in motion.