Your joints help you move and stay active. But if they cause you pain, it may be beneficial to undergo joint replacement surgery to correct the problem. The team at Richmond University Medical Center is staffed with board-certified surgeons, specially trained registered nurses and physical therapists who are ready to help you get back to your daily routine. Familiarize yourself with the procedure if your doctor has suggested joint surgery or you’re experiencing pain and mobility issues that could be caused by a damaged joint.
Common Joint Replacements
A joint is a location where two bones in your body meet. This means that there are many joints throughout your body, from the hinge joints in your elbows and knees to the ball-and-socket joints that allow your shoulders and hips to rotate.
Because of the way people move, some joints experience much more movement than others, and as a result may break down quicker. In general, hip and knee procedures make up the majority of joint replacement surgeries due to the stress of supporting the body’s weight. However, many other joints can also be replaced, including the shoulder, wrists, elbows and ankles.
Indications for Joint Replacement
The aforementioned wear and tear to your body is the most common reason to undergo joint replacement surgery. But more specifically, a joint replacement is needed when the cartilage that lines the ends of your bones is damaged. This causes the bones to directly rub against one another, which can create stiffness and pain. The deterioration of cartilage can happen through a number of ways, such as arthritis, fractures or inadequate blood supply to the bone. Medication and certain exercises may help reduce pain you experience from this condition, but if the problem is persistent and conservative methods don’t provide relief, your doctor may advise joint replacement surgery.
The Joint Replacement Procedure
Under the expert guidance of our surgeons, your joint replacement surgery should only take a few hours and will have you testing out your new joint as soon as possible. During the surgery, the doctor will clear out any damaged or diseased cartilage or bones in the joint. Then, a prosthetic replacement joint made of metal, hard plastic or ceramic will be installed. These prosthetics are designed to replicate the movement that your natural joint was capable of.
After your surgery, you’ll begin recovery from the procedure in one of Richmond University Medical Center’s designated orthopedic patient rooms. The full recovery process varies based on the joint that was replaced and the procedure used by your surgeon. In general you can expect a brief hospital stay.
Living with Your New Joint
It may take some time to get used to your new joint. You will work with a physical therapist, who will give you exercises to complete that will strengthen the muscles around the joint that may have deteriorated because of inactivity. These exercises will also increase your mobility and help restore normal joint function.
Your orthopedist will also identify behaviors you should avoid and provide a reasonable timeline for returning to your normal activities. If a hip, knee or ankle joint was replaced, you may have to use a walking aid before you are fully up and running again.
Learn More about Joint Replacement Surgery
The orthopedic unit is the largest surgical line at Richmond University Medical Center, and with joint replacement as one of our specialties, you are sure to receive the best care possible in the Staten Island area. If you’re experiencing pain or serious mobility issues, be sure to speak with your doctor about all your options, including joint replacement surgery. To schedule an appointment or learn more, call 718-818-4750 today.