FAQ – Joint Replacement Surgery
1. What is osteoarthritis?
As the most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis results in a damage of the cartilage surrounding the bones caused by many reasons – normal wear and tear, accident or for no apparent cause – resulting in open ends of the bone touching together and causing the pain, along with swelling and loss of motion. Osteoarthritis usually occurs later in life and may affect only one joint or many joints.
2. Why do I need a Joint Replacement Surgery ?
Joint Replacement is recommended by your doctor if other non invasive treatment such as medication, physiotherapy procedures or other routine exercise do not reduce the pain and makes it extremely difficult to carry out your normal activities.
3. What are the common types of joint replacement surgeries ?
While the hip and knee replacements are most common, other joints like shoulder, wrist, elbow or ankle may also be corrected surgically.
4. What is total hip replacement surgery?
Note that the term ‘replacement’ is a misnomer, as in the case of a hip surgery, your total hip is not replaced. Only an implant is used to cap both ends of the bone.
5. What is knee replacement ?
Knee replacement is a surgical procedure carried out to decrease the pain and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from severe arthritis of the knees. When non-invasive treatment plans such as activity modification or anti-inflammatory medication do not reduce the pain, your doctor can recommend this as a best option.
Knee replacement may be carried out in two forms – total knee replacement or minimally invasive partial knee replacement – as decided by the specialist. Note that the term ‘replacement’ is a misnomer, as your knee is not replaced during the surgery. Only an implant is used to cap both ends of the bone.
6. How long will it take for the surgery to be completed?
Under normal conditions, each knee replacement procedure will take about 3-4 hours.
7. Will it be painful?
A surgical procdure normally involves some pain, that can well be handled by the anaesthetics team to reduce the overall effect.
8. How long will be the hospital stay?
Depending on the post-surgical conditions, a normal period of stay will be under a week from the date of admission.
9. What will be the post-surgical recovery period?
Recovery and rehabilitation after a joint replacement surgery will vary from person to person. However, your surgeon will normally provide you all the encouragement to start on the new joint shortly after your surgery. With proper physiotherapy support and following the recommended rehabilitation guidelines you can be back to your normal schedules within a year.
10. How long will the new joint last or will I have to do a second replacement?
This will depend on the patient’s age, activity level, weight and other medical conditions. On an average it is observed that an implant can last upto 15 years without the need for a replacement.
11. How much will it cost for a joint replacement surgery?
Your consultant, after a discussion and careful study of your medical condition, will provide you this information prior to the surgery.
12. Are there any risks involved in Joint Replacement Surgery?
Normally not, apart from the general risks involved in all surgical procedures such as infection and blood clots, which are routinely handled by the surgical team. However it makes sense to get the procedure done at a facility which handles such surgeries routinely. EMC, with a proven record for Orthopaedic care is one of the best hospitals in Kochi for Joint Replacement Surgery