Study guide

QUESTION ANYONE?

You’re considering a joint replacement, now what?

Surgical options.

Surgical Options for the Knee
What are my surgical options for arthritic knee?

When non-operative treatments for knee arthritis fail, surgery can be considered. Surgical options include: arthroscopy, partial knee replacement and total knee replacement.

  • Role of arthroscopy:

    Arthroscopy involves a surgeon making a small incision in the knee and irrigates and removes loose pieces of cartilage. In the arthritic knee, there is a limited role for an arthroscopy. Results of a “clean out” or a “wash out” are unpredictable and would be appropriate only in very selected cases.
  • Role of unicompartmental of partial knee replacement:

    Partial knee replacement (also known as a “Uni”) replaces only the part of the knee that is worn out. This can be either the patello-femoral joint (knee cap-femur) or, more commonly the femoral-tibial joint. These procedures are appealing due to the fact that they are generally less invasive, have an easier recovery and due to the fact that there is more retained normal tissue left behind, are perceived by patients as less mechanical. The ideal candidate for these procedures is an evolving topic and you would need to discuss with your orthopaedic surgeon if you are an appropriate candidate for this procedure. Issues of location and amount of disease as well as the amount of deformity present are important considerations. Newer technologies such as computers, robots and custom guides have been introduced to this concept in attempts to improve outcomes. The influence of these technologies has yet to be determined. Outcomes of partial knee replacements can be comparable to total knee replacements ten years after surgery.
  • Role of cartilage procedures:

    This procedure involves implanting cartilage cells into the area of disease in the knee. While appealing in concept, there is a role for this procedure in an arthritic knee where the disease is very localized and has no role to play in the treatment of the advanced arthritic knee.
  • Role of total knee replacement:

    Total knee replacement is the gold standard for the patient who has failed non-operative treatment for arthritis of the knee. This procedure involves resecting the ends of the bones of the knee and replacing them with a combination of metal and plastic. The procedure is one of the most successful of all surgical procedures and on average provides 90-95% pain relief, has a 1-2% complication rate and approximately 90% of these knees will be satisfactory 20 years from surgery.
Are there different types of implants?

Yes. In Orthopaedics as well as most technologies, industry has developed a number of innovative technologies in an effort to improve the outcomes of total joint replacement. In recent years, these technologies have been marketed directly to patients, which has increased the awareness as well as confusion on what these different designs mean. The most important message is that while a certain manufacturer may claim that their design is “better”, almost all of the available registry data (large collections of data from countries that track total joints done in that country) show that there are no clear advantages to any of these designs when it comes to improving outcomes. Your surgeon will help you determine which option is right for you and your lifestyle.

How long do they last?

It is often quoted that total joint replacements last “15-20 years.” This is not the ideal way to interpret the longevity of total joint replacements. The more accurate way to think about longevity is via the annual failure rates. Most current data suggests that both hip and knee replacements have an annual failure rate between 0.5-1.0%. This means that if you have your total joint today, you have a 90-95% chance that your joint will last 10 years, and 80-90% that it will last 20 years. With improvements in technology, these numbers may improve.

What is minimally invasive surgery, and how big is my scar?

Minimally invasive surgery is a term that describes a combination of reducing incision length and lessening tissue disruption beneath the incision. This includes cutting less muscle and detaching less tendon from the bone. Combined with these techniques are advancements of anesthesia and pain management that take place around the surgery. All of this combines to allow patients to feel better, have less pain, and regain function faster than in the recent past.

The size of the incision is variable, and depends on several factors that include the size of the patient, the complexity of the surgery, and surgeon preference. Most studies have shown that smaller incisions offer no improvement in pain or recovery and may actually worsen the surgeons’ ability to adequately perform the procedure.

Surgical Options for the Hip
What are my surgical options for arthritic hip?

When non-operative treatments for hip pain due to arthritis fail to work, surgery may be indicated. The surgical options include hip arthroscopy, resurfacing and total hip replacement.

  • Role of arthroscopy:

    Hip arthroscopy is usually an outpatient procedure to repair torn cartilage (aka the labrum) and to remove extra bone that occurs in the very earliest stages of arthritis using small stab incisions around the hip to allow for insertion of the arthroscope (tiny camera). It is rarely indicated for patients over 50 years of age.
  • Role of total hip replacement:

    Total hip replacement is the gold standard for disabling hip pain. It can be indicated in all ages, sexes, and activity levels, although generally speaking it is best to do after the age of 60 because of the risk of reoperation after 15 to 20 years due to mechanical failure. It can be performed through various approaches (front, back, side) with various implant designs. Currently the most common designs are made out of titanium with metal heads against the newest plastics. Other materials may be used for the head/ball and liner (e.g., ceramics) in selected cases. It is extensive surgery that requires inpatient hospitalization for 1-3 days, and recovery usually takes 6-8 weeks.
Is there a difference between different types of surgical approaches?

When a hip is replaced, the way a surgeon gains access to the hip is referred to as an “approach.” There are various types of approaches named according to the direction that the surgery is performed. The most common approach today is referred to as the “posterior approach” and this is done from the back of the hip. Some more recent improvements to this approach (small incision and less tissue trauma) have been called “mini posterior approach.” Another currently popular approach is known as the “anterior approach,” because it is performed from the front of the hip. The lateral approach is less popular. There are pros and cons of each approach and little science to endorse one over the other. A conversation with your surgeon should help decide which approach is the best for each patient.

How long do they last?

It is often quoted that total joint replacements last “15-20 years.” This is not the ideal way to interpret the longevity of total joint replacements. The more accurate way to think about longevity is via the annual failure rates. Most current data suggests that both hip and knee replacements have an annual failure rate between 0.5-1.0%. This means that if you have your total joint today, you have a 90-95% chance that your joint will last 10 years, and 80-90% that it will last 20 years. With improvements in technology, these numbers may improve.

What is minimally invasive surgery, and how big is my scar?

Minimally invasive surgery is a term that describes a combination of reducing incision length and lessening tissue disruption beneath the incision. This includes cutting less muscle and detaching less tendon from the bone. Combined with these techniques are advancements of anesthesia and pain management that take place around the surgery. All of this combines to allow patients to feel better, have less pain, and regain function faster than in the recent past.

The size of the incision is variable, and depends on several factors that include the size of the patient, the complexity of the surgery, and surgeon preference. Most studies have shown that smaller incisions offer no improvement in pain or recovery and may actually worsen the surgeons’ ability to adequately perform the procedure.

Surgical options

Preparing for your surgery.

Pre-Registration

Thank you for choosing University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center for your joint replacement surgery. We want to do everything we can to help you prepare for your surgery and to ensure a smooth recovery. Click on the links below to get started.

Pre-Operative Class

This class covers everything from pre-op through discharge, but focuses mostly on what occurs each day while you’re in the hospital. We’ll also talk about what will/can be done to manage your pain. A registered Nurse who works on the ortho unit and one of our Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist representatives will lead the class.

The class meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. There is also one evening class at 6 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month. You’ll be offered a tour of the unit at the end of the class, if you’re interested. For more information on the class, you can pick up a brochure in the orthopaedic doctors’ offices.

Surgical options

Care team.

As you prepare for surgery, you'll meet the team of health care professionals who will participate in your care and guide you through the recovery process. You'll work together toward regaining your ability to care for yourself and get back to your normal activities.

Your Team:

  • Orthopaedic Surgeon
    • He/she will perform the surgical procedure and follow your care during your hospital stay.
  • Primary Care Physician or Hospitalist
    • You might need to meet with him/her prior to your surgery if you have several medical problems. This person may complete your initial pre-op workup and they may follow your care during your hospital stay.
  • Anesthesiologists
    • This physician will see you before your surgery to discuss your medical history and the type of anesthesia that will be used.
  • Nurses and Nurse Technicians
    • These staff members work together as a team to provide care for you in various areas of the hospital. A nurse will get you ready for surgery, manage your care in the operating room, and take care of you in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). Your care will also be managed by a nurse on the orthopaedic unit.
    • More than 40% of the orthopaedic nurses are certified in their specialty, and many have been on the unit for several years.
  • Chaplain/Spiritual Care Staff
    • This staff member can assist you or your family with emotional and religious support.
  • Physical/Occupational Therapist
    • These staff members will assist you with your exercise and strengthening routines, walking and maintaining your ADL functions.
  • Case Manager
    • This staff member will assist you with your discharge planning needs, either home or rehab placement.
  • Respiratory Therapist
    • This staff member will assist you with your coughing and deep breathing exercises.
Surgical options

Anesthesia and you.

All anesthetics for total joint replacements at UM SJMC are performed by board certified physician anesthesiologists. There are several types of anesthesia that can be performed for these surgical procedures and this decision deserves careful consideration and discussion between you, your anesthesiologist, and your surgeon. Factors that may influence this decision include:

  • Health and physical condition
  • Past experiences with surgery and anesthesia
  • Medications and medication allergies/reactions
  • Benefits and risks of each type of anesthesia
  • Preferences of the surgery/anesthesia team and you
Before Surgery

You will be referred by your surgeon to your medical doctor and/or specialists to obtain all of the necessary medical history and tests, perform a physical exam, and to make sure that you are in optimal health prior to your surgery. It is very important that you are clear on your current medications and doses prior to arriving on the day of surgery. Special attention should be paid to blood thinners. If you are on blood thinners due to atrial fibrillation, stroke, heart stents, blood vessel disease and/or stents, or any other reason it is important to make sure that you coordinate a plan with your surgeon AND the prescribing physician in advance to ensure that dosage adjustments or discontinuing the drug is done in the proper way for your individual situation to minimize your risk of medical or surgical complications. The timing of stopping blood thinners can also influence the types of anesthesia that you will be eligible for. You will also receive a call from a nurse at the hospital who will review your medical information and medications with you. It is very important to answer or call back when this phone call is received.

Types of Anesthesia

Regional Anesthesia-

This involves using numbing medication to eliminate sensation in your leg or legs for surgery. 90-95% OF TOTAL HIP AND TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENTS PERFORMED AT UM SJMC ARE DONE UNDER REGIONAL ANESTHESIA. Some of the reasons that surgeons and anesthesiologists prefer this approach are decreased blood loss, fewer complications from blood clots, no sore throat, and less grogginess and nausea/vomiting after surgery. There are several types of regional anesthesia used at UM SJMC. The most common are:

  • Spinal Block:

    The vast majority of regional anesthetics are done with this technique. After you are comfortably sedated there is numbing medication injected in your back. This will produce a numbing effect that will last for several hours. After you are positioned for the surgery you will be given medication through your intravenous line to make you sleepy for the surgery. It is a light sleep and you will breathe on your own but you will be very comfortable throughout.

  • Epidural Block:

    Typically this technique is only used for bilateral knee replacements or anticipated lengthy surgery. It is very similar to a spinal block except there is a small tube (catheter) left in your back to deliver local anesthetics over several days.

General Anesthesia-

You are put to sleep with medications through an intravenous line. This is a deep sleep that affects your entire body. After you are asleep, the anesthesiologist will place a breathing tube or device that will be used to deliver oxygen and anesthetic gas. Your heart and breathing will be closely monitored at all times. You will remain completely asleep and comfortable until the surgery is complete. As you awake, the breathing tube/device will be removed and you will be transferred to the recovery room. ONLY 5-10% OF TOTAL HIP AND TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENTS PERFORMED AT UM SJMC ARE DONE UNDER GENERAL ANESTHESIA. Typically this choice is utilized because the patient has some medical reason that they cannot receive regional anesthesia. Such reasons may include a history of major spinal surgery, spinal conditions, recent blood thinner use, anticipated lengthy procedure, difficulty performing regional anesthesia, or patient preference. While our anesthesiologists and surgeons generally prefer regional anesthesia for these procedures for reasons stated above it is important to know that general anesthesia is a very safe and effective alternative.

Surgical options

Your hospital stay.

How long do I stay in the hospital?
  • The length of stay is highly dependent upon preoperative conditioning, age, and other medical problems that may hinder your ability to rehab. It is possible that some patients will be able to be discharged as soon as 24 hours after surgery.
  • UM SJMC’s average length of stay is much lower than the national average.
Day of Surgery
What to bring with you to the hospital?
  • You really don’t need anything here in the hospital. Clothes worn to the hospital can be worn home. (No sandals or flip-flops.) Good rubber soled shoes.
  • List of medications/vaccines (as found in your packet)
  • Please, keep all valuables at home!!
When should the patient arrive?
  • Arrive two hours prior to your scheduled procedure. Your surgeon will advise you as to arrival time. If you are delayed for any reason on the day of surgery, please contact us at 410-337-1058.
Where should the patient go when reporting for surgery?
  • Enter through the Main Entrance and report to the Information Desk. The hospital front doors open at 5:30 a.m. and wheelchairs are available at the entrance.
  • A staff member from the Information Desk will escort you to Central Registration and a registration representative will check you in.
How long is the surgery?
  • The surgery itself will take 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours to complete.
Where do I go after surgery?
  • After the surgery, you will be transported by your bed into the PACU (Post Anesthesia Care Unit) or recovery room. The time you spend here varies from patient to patient: average time is about 1 to 3 hours. Here the nurses will monitor your vital signs, your airway, your circulation and the various pieces of equipment. Please allow the hospital staff to care for the patients in the PACU. They will update the families as frequently as possible.
Your 6th Floor Room
  • Once you have been “discharged” from the PACU, you will be transported to the 6th floor (the orthopaedic unit) by your bed into your hospital room.
  • A floor nurse and/or tech will greet you and get you settled and acquainted to the unit. Your family/significant others are welcome to join you. On the nursing unit, your vital signs will be taken every 4 hours to ensure your safety. You will be given instructions on how to order lunch/dinner and how to use your call light and phone. Most surgeons allow you to get out of bed to the chair the first evening after surgery for about an hour.
Initial Post-Operative Period
  • Your work toward recovery begins the first day after surgery. It is a busy day, but members of your health care team will work with you toward the goal of walking comfortably again.
  • Two sessions of physical/occupational therapy will be scheduled for each day you are still a patient (one in the morning, one in the afternoon). A registered licensed Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist will see you first and perform your initial evaluation of what you have been doing, what your home layout is and what your goals are once rehab is completed. Individual instruction takes place at each subsequent session.
  • Your case manager will have touched base with you and your therapist every day to know your progression. They will assist you in a discharge plan that fits your needs.
Discharge Planning

You can expect to be discharged on the second or third day, after surgery. You should begin planning for your discharge from the hospital before your surgery. You will be assessed for your post-discharge needs by a staff member of the ICM (Integrated Care Management) team, either a social worker or an RN case manager who will work with you and your family to make arrangements for you when you leave the hospital. There are basically two options for you to consider and plan for your discharge from the hospital.

Discharge to Home

If you go directly home from the hospital, any needed equipment and in home physical therapy will be arranged for you by the staff of the Integrated Care Management Department (ICM) of UM SJMC or your discharge planner.

Discharge to Inpatient Rehab

If you go to an inpatient rehabilitation facility, those arrangements are made by the staff of the ICM Department. Factors such as your progress in physical therapy, insurance benefit coverage and bed availability determine which facility you are eligible to go to.

Surgical options

Rapid recovery program.

Pain management following total joint replacement has come a long way over the last 10-15 years with a variety of new methods available for pain control. We’ve pioneered a unique process designed to help you get back on your feet faster, with less pain. Our rapid recovery program helps you achieve earlier range of motion, reduces stiffness and pain, and ultimately makes the procedure much less painful.

UM SJMC uses a multi-modal approach to pain management, which means your pain is controlled in a variety of different ways before, during, and after surgery to ensure the best results possible.

Before Surgery

  • You'll take specific medicines (NSAIDS & Narcotic Pain Medicines) 24 hours before surgery to prevent the pain cycle from ever starting.
  • We educate you so you'll have set expectations on how quickly you'll be moving after surgery and what types of activities you can do. Education helps lessen your anxiety about the unknown and enables you to move more quickly after surgery.

During Surgery

  • The surgeon administers pain and numbing medication into the joint that blocks pain. This injection lasts 24–36 hours and by the time it wears off, the pain is manageable by oral pain medications.

After Surgery

  • Formal physical therapy begins the morning after the surgery and promotes a continuum of progress.

Not only will you get moving faster with our rapid recovery program, but you’ll also get earlier range of motion, which helps prevent postoperative complications such as blood clots or pneumonia.

Surgical options

Continuing your recovery.

How long does it take to recover?
Knee

Most patients will take up to 3 months to return to most activities and likely 6 months to one year to fully recover to maximal strength and endurance following a total knee replacement. Again this is highly dependent on preoperative conditioning, additional medical problems, and patient expectations.

Hip

Most hip replacement patients are able to participate in a majority of daily activities by 6 weeks. Overall by 2 months most patients have regained much of the endurance and strength lost around the time of surgery and are able to participate in daily activities without restriction.

What can I do/not do after surgery?
Knee

Restrictions following knee replacement are generally few and should be discussed with your surgeon.

  • Kneeling:

    Many patients following knee replacement will have some difficulty kneeling on the operative knee. Most patients become less aware of this with time but will always have a general perception that the knee is artificial and doesn’t really feel like a normal knee.
  • Return to Work:

    Most patients are able to return to preoperative activities and work but may have some difficulty performing heavy labor.
  • Travel:

    You may travel as soon as you feel comfortable. During the first 6-12 weeks after surgery, it is recommended to stretch or walk at least once an hour when taking long trips. This is important to help prevent blood clots in the lower extremities.
  • Exercise/Activities/Sports:

    On a long term basis, after physical therapy is completed, you may return to most exercise and sports, including walking, gardening, and golf. Swimming or stationary bike is highly recommended. Avoid high-impact sports such as running, singles tennis or squash.
Hip

Depending on how your surgeon performs your surgery, you may have slight differences in your rehabilitation instructions including restrictions. In general, most surgeons prefer that you avoid certain positions of the hip that can increase your risk of dislocation of the hip for about 6 weeks following surgery. After 6 weeks the soft tissues involved in the surgery have healed and restrictions are often lifted allowing more vigorous activity. Many surgeons suggest that patients avoid any repetitive impact activities that can increase the wear on the implant such as long distance running, basketball, or mogul skiing. Otherwise limitations following hip replacement surgery are few.

  • Hip precautions

    • Avoid pivoting your leg
    • Sleep on your back or operated side only for 6 weeks after surgery or as directed by your surgeon
When can I walk after surgery?

Knee and Hip:

Rapid rehab protocols which emphasize increasing mobility and activity, aids a quicker recovery. You will be out of bed, sitting in a chair and walking beginning the day of, or the day after the surgery. You will attend physical therapy sessions two times a day starting the morning after your surgery. You will use a walker at first and, depending on your progress, may practice walking with a cane before you are discharged from the hospital. There are exercises to achieve mobility and strengthen the muscles around the knee replacement, but initially these are relatively easy. You will wean to a cane or no assistive device by 2-3 weeks postoperatively.

When can I shower?

Knee and Hip:

Most surgeons do not like the wound to be exposed to water for 5-7 days. However, becoming more popular with surgeons are waterproof dressings that allow patients to shower the day after surgery. Patients then remove the dressing at 7-10 days after surgery. Once dressings are removed you still shouldn’t soak the wound for 3-4 weeks until the incision is completely healed.

When can I drive?
Knee

If you had surgery on your LEFT knee, you may return to driving as you feel comfortable, if you have an automatic transmission. If surgery was on your RIGHT knee, you should not drive for 1 month (4 weeks) after surgery. However, some surgeons do not allow their patients to drive until after they have been seen in the office at 4-6 weeks after surgery. Check with your surgeon for more specific direction.

Hip

If you had surgery on your LEFT hip, you may return to driving as you feel comfortable, if you have an automatic transmission. If surgery was on your RIGHT hip, you should not drive for 1 month (4 weeks) after surgery. However, some surgeons do not allow their patients to drive until after they have been seen in the office at 4-6 weeks after surgery. Check with your surgeon for more specific direction.

When can I return to work?

Knee and Hip:

Returning to work is highly dependent on the patient’s general health, activity level and demands of the job. Depending on the type of job, you may resume work whenever you feel able. More demanding jobs requiring more lifting, walking, or travel may need up to 3 months for full recovery. Always discuss your plan with your surgeon to obtain the proper clearance to resume work.

Do I need physical therapy after surgery, if so for how long?
Knee
  • Physical therapy is important to your recovery and progress. A skilled therapist can accelerate the rehabilitation as well as make the process more efficient with the use of dedicated machines and therapeutic modalities. The amount of therapy needed depends upon a patient’s pre-op conditioning, motivation, and general health.
  • If you go directly home from the hospital, you will have in-home physical therapy about 3 times a week, for 2 weeks. It is advisable to continue physical therapy on an outpatient basis after you are discharged from in-home physical therapy. You should call the outpatient physical therapy facility soon after arriving home to schedule your first appointment (for the third week after surgery). This is to prevent a lag in your progress. You can call Towson Sports Medicine in Towson at 410-337-8847, in Bel Air at 410-569-8587, UM SJMC’s Outpatient Physical Therapy/Rehab at 410-337-1336 (press 2), or a facility of your choice that is within your insurance network to make an appointment.
  • If you go to an inpatient rehab facility or transitional care unit from the hospital, you should contact the Outpatient Physical Therapy Facility as soon as you arrive home to set up appointment to continue your physical therapy.
  • You will also be taught a series of exercises that you can perform on your own without supervision. For the first 6-12 weeks after surgery you should spend some time each day working on both flexion and extension of your knee. It is a good idea to change positions every 15-30 minutes. Avoid a pillow or roll under your knee. A roll under the ankle helps improve extension, prevent a contracture, and relieve pressure on the heel. Aquatic exercising, swimming, and exercise bike are good.
Hip
  • Initially most patients will receive some physical therapy while in the hospital and depending on preoperative conditioning and support, may or may not need additional therapy as an outpatient. Much of the therapy after hip replacement is walking with general stretching and thigh muscle strengthening which many patients can do on their own, without the assistance of a physical therapist.
  • If you go directly home from the hospital, you will have in-home physical therapy about 3 times a week, for 2 weeks. It is advisable to continue physical therapy on an outpatient basis after you are discharged from in-home physical therapy. You should call the outpatient physical therapy facility soon after arriving home to schedule your first appointment (for the third week after surgery). This is to prevent a lag in your progress. You can call Towson Sports Medicine in Towson at 410-337-8847, in Bel Air at 410-569-8587, UM SJMC’s Outpatient Physical Therapy/Rehab at 410-337-1336 (press 2), or a facility of your choice that is within your insurance network to make an appointment.
  • If you go to an inpatient rehab facility or transitional care unit from the hospital, you should contact the Outpatient Physical Therapy Facility as soon as you arrive home to set up appointment to continue your physical therapy.
  • You will also be taught a series of exercises that you can perform on your own without supervision. For the first 6-12 weeks after surgery you should spend some time each day working on both flexion and extension of your knee. It is a good idea to change positions every 15-30 minutes. Avoid a pillow or roll under your knee. A roll under the ankle helps improve extension, prevent a contracture and relieve pressure on the heel. Aquatic exercising, swimming, and exercise bike are good exercise options, and can be continued indefinitely and independently.
What are the major complications?
Knee
  • Total knee replacement is primarily a pain relieving procedure however may not relieve all pain with possible residual stiffness and swelling. Although severe complications are relatively rare (1-5% of patients), patients may experience a complication in the postoperative period. These include very serious and possibly life threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism (a blood clot to the lungs) and kidney failure. Blood clot in the leg is also a complication requiring some type of blood thinner following surgery to reduce the incidence. Stiffness or loss of motion can also occur. Infection (1%) is one of the most debilitating complications and often requires prolonged antibiotics with several additional surgeries to rid the infection. The implants can also fail over time due to wear or loosening of the components. But this generally occurs many years after surgery.
Hip
  • Total hip replacement is an excellent pain relieving procedure and most patients receive approximately 95% pain relief. Although complications are relatively rare (1-5% of patients), patients may experience a complication in the postoperative period. These include very serious and possibly life threatening complications such as heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism which is (a blood clot to lungs) and kidney failure. Infection is one of the most debilitating complications and often may require prolonged antibiotics with additional surgeries to rid the infection. A blood clot in the leg is also a relatively uncommon complication requiring some type of blood thinner following surgery to reduce the incidence. Another complication specific to hip replacement is dislocation of the joint (1%) that may require additional surgery if dislocation becomes recurring. Leg length differences following surgery are also a possibility and may be difficult to avoid sometimes in order to insure a stable hip. Often this leg length discrepancy is mild and rarely needs treatment.
How long do I have to follow up?

Knee and Hip:

It is important to follow up with your surgeon after your joint replacement. In most cases, joint replacements last for many years. You need to meet with your treating doctor after surgery to ensure that your replacement is continuing to function well. In some cases, the replaced parts can start to wear out or loosen. The frequency of required follow up visits is dependent on many factors including the age of the patient, the demand levels placed on the joint, and the type of replacement. Your surgeon will consider all these factors and tailor a follow-up schedule to meet your needs. In general seeing your surgeon every 1-2 years is recommended.

Spiritual care.

Care at UM SJMC goes beyond your physical health. We believe that it’s important to be mentally and emotionally prepared for surgery. This may include preparations at home, care of other family members, etc. Click here for more information.

Surgical options