What is ‘Joint Replacement Surgery’?
Hip joint and knee joint replacements are helping people of all ages live happier more active lives.
Joints are formed by the ends of two or more bones connected by tissue called cartilage. Healthy cartilage serves as a protective cushion, allowing smooth, low-friction movement of the joint. If the cartilage becomes damaged by disease or injury, the tissues around the joint become inflamed, causing pain. With time, the cartilage wears away, allowing the rough edges of bone to rub against each other, causing more pain.
When only some of the joint is damaged, Dr Bhimani may be able to repair or replace just the damaged parts. When the entire joint is damaged, a total joint replacement is done. To replace a total hip or knee joint, Dr Bhimani removes the diseased or damaged parts and inserts artificial parts, called prostheses or implants.
Over the last several years hip and knee replacement has evolved to be a minimally invasive surgical technique for patients to undergo.
The advantages of always aiming for the most minimally invasive surgical technique are clear:
Less tissue trauma – muscles and tendons are avoided or separated when possible so as to not be cut
Promotes faster and less painful recovery
Incisions are smaller and there is less scarring
Shorter time in hospital
Reduced blood loss and less need for pre-surgery blood donation
Faster return to work and normal activities
When Is A Joint Replacement Recommended?
Several conditions can cause joint pain and disability and lead patients to consider joint replacement surgery. In many cases, joint pain is caused by damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones (articular cartilage)—either from arthritis, a fracture, or another condition.
If nonsurgical treatments like medications, physical therapy, and changes to your everyday activities do not relieve your pain and disability, your doctor may recommend total joint replacement.
How Do You Prepare For A Joint Replacement?
In the weeks before your surgery, your surgical team and primary care doctor will spend time preparing you for your upcoming procedure. For example, your primary care doctor may check your general health, and Dr Bhimani may require several tests — such as blood tests and a cardiogram — to help plan your surgery.
There are also many things you can do to prepare. Talk to Dr Bhimani and ask questions. Prepare yourself physically by eating right and exercising. Take steps to manage your first weeks at home by arranging for help and obtaining items, such as a shower bench, handrails, or a long-handled reacher. By planning ahead, you can help ensure a smooth surgery and speedy recovery.
For a step-by-step guide to planning your joint replacement surgery: