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Total Joint Replacement Surgery

Total Joint Replacement Surgery is a procedure that can provide relief and restore freedom to those who suffer with debilitating pain in their arthritic hip and knee joints. The name aptly describes the surgical process. Your arthritic joint is removed and completely replaced with a manufactured joint that is designed to simulate the smooth motion of a non-arthritic joint. Today, it can be so effective that patient who had suffered for years are often heard to say the same thing only days after surgery, "I can't believe I waited so long to have this procedure." Perhaps no single factor has allowed EJGH to achieve such tremendous outcomes more than our pre-surgical educational class that we urge all total joint patients to attend. This class removes the unknowns and gives you the tools needed to maximize your surgical and recovery processes.

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Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery

A total knee or Hip replacement is an operation to replace the worn or damaged parts of your joint. The surfaces of the diseased joint are removed and replaced with a mechanical artificial joint that is called prosthesis. This surgery can relieve the pain and stiffness in your knee joint. Our orthopedic joint replacement surgeons are dedicated to performing state-of-the-art knee replacement procedures to improve function and eliminate pain in diseased joints. Pain in your hip, knee or leg prevents you from doing your usual activities. Your x-rays show irregular surfaces at the knee or hip. When more conservative treatments like medication can no longer relieve your pain and disability, it is time to consider having a total knee replacement.

Your orthopedic surgeon will usually encourage you to use your new joint as soon as possible after your operation. Patients will often stand and begin walking the day of or day after surgery. You will initially walk with a walker. Most patients have some temporary pain after joint replacement as the tissues heal and the muscles regain strength. This pain should go away in a few weeks or months.

With your new hip or knee replacement (also called arthroplasty) and the help of your orthopedic team, you may be able to resume some of the activities you once enjoyed. You may be permitted to go on long walks, dance, and play golf, garden, and ride a bicycle. Total joint replacement has an excellent track record for improving quality of life, allowing greater independence and reducing pain. Nationally, more than half a million total joint replacements are performed each year.

The Healthy Knee Joint

Your knee is a hinge joint where the end of the thigh bone (femur) meets the beginning of the large bone in your lower leg (tibia). A healthy knee has smooth cartilage that covers the ends of the femur and tibia. The smooth cartilage between the knee joint serves as a cushion, permitting the bones to glide smoothly as you bend your knee. The muscles and ligaments around the knee joint support your weight and help move the joint smoothly so you can walk without pain.

The Degenerated Knee Joint

The smooth cartilage layers can sear down on the ends of the femur and tibia. This degeneration can happen because of injury, arthritis, or as a side effect from medicines, such as steroids. When the smooth surfaces become rough, the surfaces are like sandpaper. Instead of the joint gliding when you move your leg, the bones grind and you have pain and / or stiffness. When pain in your knee or leg prevents you from doing your usual activities and your x-rays show irregular surfaces at the knee, your doctor might suggest that you have a knee replacement.

Your Replacement Knee Prosthesis

To create a new knee joint, the ends of the bones forming the joint are surgically removed. They are replaced with parts similar to the pieces shown here. The parts of the prosthesis are made of metal and very strong plastic. The prosthesis, which provides new smooth surfaces on the ends of the bones, are held in place with special bone cement. The femoral component caps the end of the thighbone; the tibial component covers the underside of the knee joint surfaces and allow you to move and walk easily without pain. Your physician will choose the right prosthesis to fit your anatomy and lifestyle needs.

The Healthy Hip Joint


The hip is one of the largest joints in the body and is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is the femoral head, the upper end of the femur (your thigh bone), and the socket is formed by the acetabulum, which is part of the pelvis bone. The bone surfaces of the ball and socket are covered with cartilage, a smooth tissue that cushions the ends of the bones. There is also a thin tissue called the synovial membrane that, in a healthy hip, produces a fluid to help lubricate the cartilage and eliminate friction, allowing the joint to move smoothly.

The Degenerated Hip Joint


The cartilage can become damaged due to a number of causes including arthritis and injury. This results in the cushion between your bones wearing away, causing them to rub against each other. This friction is what causes pain and stiffness with any kind of hip movement, including walking, getting in and out of a car, putting on your shoes, or any other similar motions.

Your Replacement Hip Prosthesis


To create a new hip joint, the damaged bone and cartilage is removed and replaced with prosthetic components. The femoral head is removed and replaced with a metal stem that is placed into the hollow center of the femur, and a metal or ceramic ball is placed on the upper part of the stem. The damaged cartilage surface of the socket is removed and replaced with a metal socket. A plastic, ceramic, or metal spacer is inserted between the new ball and the socket, allowing for a smooth gliding surface. Your physician will choose the right prosthesis to fit your anatomy and lifestyle needs.

A New Approach to Hip Surgery: Anterior Hip Replacement

This form of hip surgery allows the surgeon to make the incision at the front of the hip instead of through the buttocks or side of the hip. This approach allows the doctor to access the hip socket without having to cut through several major muscle groups. This has resulted in significantly less recovery time, a smaller incision, shorter hospital stays, and a quicker return to work and normal activity for patients.

Rehab & Recovery

Even your surgeon will agree that most important person impacting the results of your surgery will be you. The more you can follow the guidelines before and after your surgery, the greater results you will enjoy. In our pre-surgery educational class, rehabilitation will be discussed in detail. East Jefferson General Hospital offers dedicated and excellent therapists who will begin working with you the day of, or day after, your surgery. Then, after your discharge, we offer outpatient rehab services along with a secondary recovery and rehab period at our Outpatient Rehabilitation Center located at 3601 Houma Blvd., Suite 200. All these components working with you help to ensure the outcome you desire: greater mobility with less or no pain associated with that mobility.

For an examination to determine if you are a candidate for Total Knee or Hip Replacement, call HealthFinder at (504) 456-5000. They can help you find a doctor who fits your needs and your insurance plan.

Last Updated on Tuesday, September 08, 2015 09:20 AM


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