Once the noninvasive or minimally invasive treatments do not work anymore to quell your joint pain, the best solution may be to have a total joint replacement. In this treatment, the damaged joint is removed and replaced with a new, artificial (prosthetic) internal joint.
Among the questions that usually arise from patients who are considering having a total joint replacement include what life is like after having this surgery. The answer, of course, depends on the type of total joint replacement you’re having and who is performing your surgery.
Let’s talk about the most commonly performed types of total joint replacement surgeries, and where you can go here in the Watertown area for world-class orthopedic treatment.
After Having a Total Shoulder Replacement
Rehabilitation after having a total shoulder replacement usually takes three to six months, during which time you will gradually gain strength and increased movement in your shoulder. Your actual recovery time will depend on factors such as your overall health condition, the extent of surgery you underwent (how much tissue had to be removed and replaced), and how strong your arm muscles are.
Your surgeon will let you know what you can expect insofar as your own recovery time. The good news is that most people achieve excellent results with shoulder replacement surgery, experiencing an improved quality of life thanks to greatly decreased shoulder pain and improved function.
After a Total Hip Replacement
Following total hip arthroplasty, you will likely remain in the hospital for two to five days. A “V”-shaped pillow may be placed between your legs to properly position your hip while it gradually heals.
Over the next six weeks or more, you will be advised to temporarily avoid performing certain movements in order to prevent your new joint from dislocating. For example, you should refrain from crossing your legs, bending your hips at more than a 90-degree angle, and pointing your feet inward or outward.
Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy will begin the day of or the day after your surgery, and you will (at first) need to use a walker, cane, or crutches while standing and walking. Your physical therapist (PT) will teach you how to walk with your new hip, show you how to safely climb and descend stairs, and guide you in exercises to strengthen your hip. Your therapist can also show you ways to safely get dressed and bathe while you recover.
The ultimate success of your hip surgery will depend, in part, on how closely you follow the instructions you receive during the first few weeks following surgery. Soon after your procedure, you should be able to resume light activities.
Fortunately, most people experience a dramatic reduction of hip pain and gain the ability to resume functional activities after hip arthroplasty, with a total healing time of about three to four months.
How Life Gets Better After a Total Knee Replacement
Your knee arthroplasty may be outpatient, or you may have to stay in the hospital for up to three days if the surgery is extensive or if you had an adverse reaction during or after the operation. Your doctor may prescribe blood thinners and special support stockings to help prevent blood clots and swelling around the new prosthetic knee joint.
During your recovery, it is important to begin walking and to move the knee right away. That is why you will begin physical therapy the day of or the day after your surgery.
At first, you will stand and walk with the help of a walker or crutches. Gradually, your walking will improve, and your physical therapist will show you how to walk up and down the stairs and how to perform strengthening exercises.
You should be able to resume most of your regular functional activities within three to six weeks after your total knee replacement, with a dramatic reduction of knee pain.
Total Joint Replacement in Watertown, NY
Here at North Country Orthopaedic Group, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and licensed physical therapists are dedicated to providing personalized and comprehensive care to patients who require total joint replacement – helping our patients recover as quickly and safely as possible.
To learn more about our total joint replacement and physical therapy services, or to schedule a consultation with one of our outstanding orthopedic physicians, call us today at (315) 782-1650 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!