FAQ - Joint Replacement

What is osteoarthritis and why does my hip or knee hurt?

Joint cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones where joints are located. It helps cushion the bones during movement, and because it is smooth and slippery, it allows for motion with minimal friction.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a wear and tear condition that destroys joint cartilage. Sometimes, as the result of trauma, repetitive movement, or for no apparent reason, the cartilage wears down, exposing the bone ends. Over time, cartilage destruction can result in painful bone-on-bone contact, along with swelling and loss of motion. Osteoarthritis usually occurs later in life and may affect only one joint or many joints.

What is total hip replacement?

The term total hip replacement is somewhat misleading. The hip itself is not replaced, as is commonly thought, but rather an implant is used to recap the worn bone ends. The head of the femur is removed. A metal stem is then inserted into the femur shaft and topped with a metal or ceramic ball.

The worn socket (acetabulum) is smoothed and lined with a metal cup and either a plastic, metal, or ceramic liner. No longer does bone rub on bone, causing pain and stiffness.

What is total knee replacement?

The term total knee replacement is misleading. The knee itself is not replaced, as is commonly thought, but rather an implant is used to recap the worn bone ends. This is done with a metal alloy on the femur and a plastic spacer on the tibia and patella (knee cap). This creates a new, smooth cushion and a functional joint that can reduce or eliminate pain.

Who is a candidate for total knee or total hip replacement surgery?

Knee or hip replacement surgery may be considered for those suffering from arthritic pain that severely limits the activities of daily living.

It is only recommended after careful examination and diagnosis of your particular joint problem, and only after more conservative measures such as exercise, physical therapy and medications have proven ineffective.

How long will my new joint (hip or knee) last and can a second replacement be done?

All implants have a limited life expectancy depending on an individual’s age, weight, activity level, and medical condition(s). A total joint implant’s longevity will vary in every patient.

It is important to remember that an implant is a medical device subject to wear that may lead to mechanical failure. While it is important to follow all of your surgeon’s recommendations after surgery, there is no guarantee that your particular implant will last for any specified length of time.

What are the major risks?

Most surgeries go well, without any complications. Infection and blood clots are two serious complications. To avoid these complications, your surgeon may use antibiotics, blood thinners or compression devices. Surgeons also take special precautions in the operating room to reduce the risk of infection.

How long will I be in the hospital?

Our goal is that all patients get out of bed and walk the same day as their surgery. The next morning patients get dressed in their own clothing, get up to a recliner chair for breakfast and participate in physical and occupational therapy. Many patients leave the hospital the day after their surgery.

What if I live alone?

You can still return directly home from the hospital if you have someone to help you at home. Talk to your coach, relatives, or friends and determine if someone or different people can stay with you after your surgery to help out until you become more independent. Generally, we recommend you have assistance the first two weeks after surgery.

If you do not think you will be able to go directly home from the hospital, visit local skilled nursing facilities to determine where you want to go for rehabilitation until you become independent enough to return home alone. Keep in mind that you must meet certain criteria for your insurance to pay for a skilled nursing facility stay.

 

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Dr. Jayant Kumar Joint Replacement, Arthroscopy & Sports Injuries, Trauma Care

Dr. Jayant Kumar is a renowned orthopaedic surgeon based in South Delhi. He has an experience of 10 years in orthpedic surgery in india and abroad. His special interest is in the fields of Joint Replacement, Arthroscopy and Sports Injury and Management of Complex Trauma. He is attched to hopitals like Indian Spinal Injuries Center New Delhi, PSRI Hospital New Delhi, Aryan Hospital Gurgoan. He has his own private clinic as Nirvan Super Speciality Clinic Flat L8-A Phase-2, Sheikh Sarai New Delhi.


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