Including Minimally Invasive Hip and Knee Replacement
Twenty million Americans are affected by osteoarthritis, making it the most prevalent form of arthritis and the number one cause of disability in the United States.
For those with osteoarthritis everyday activities such as walking, driving, lifting, exercising, standing or even lying down, become extremely painful. For some, the pain is so extreme that they simply cannot perform these daily tasks.
To help patients find relief, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
offers minimally invasive surgical technology for total joint replacement.
Having total joint surgery? Register for our free Total Joint Pre-Op Class
What is total joint replacement?
Total joint replacement is when a surgeon surgically replaces an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial joint.
A joint is formed at the end of two bones that are connected by a thick tissue. The ends of the bones are covered by cartilage, which is a smooth casing that prevents friction between the two bones during movement. When the cartilage is damaged severe pain can occur and use of that joint is avoided, which in turn causes weakness in the joint.
Typically, joint replacement is most commonly performed on the knees and hips, but can also be performed on elbows, ankles, shoulders and fingers when other treatment methods have failed to relieve pain caused by the damaged joint.
During total joint replacement, a patient receives anesthesia and the surgeon removes the damaged joint and replaces it with metal and plastic surfaces formed to fit the affected area. This results in improved movement and function of the joint as well as relieving the pain that was associated with the damaged cartilage.
Total joint replacement is successful on more than nine out of 10 people. Physical therapy or special exercises are required after surgery to strengthen the joint and surrounding muscles. Temporary pain is expected after surgery as the new joint heals, but it will subside during your recovery period.
Patients benefit from new surgical and physical therapy techniques
The staff at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center has been trained in the newest concepts in treatment of joint replacement patients, including the use of nerve blocks to control pain that have been adopted at the Mayo Clinic. Physical therapy is an integral part of the recovery process and the physical therapists at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center have been specially trained in the treatment of joint replacement patients.
After you have been scheduled for surgery, you will meet with our surgical coordinator and a member of the Physical Therapy Department. You will find out about rehabilitation, what to expect during your hospital stay and what to expect when you leave the hospital and return either to your home or to a rehabilitation facility.
Your rehabilitation will begin either on the same day of surgery or the morning following your surgery depending on what your doctor orders. A physical therapist will see you every day while you are in the hospital. Patients can usually expect to stay in the hospital three to four days.
The goal of inpatient physical therapy is to make sure that you can safely use a walker and to begin motion and strengthening exercises.
For patients who are discharged to their homes, our staff will help explain how to make your home ready for your return and will assist you in setting up home therapy.
If you are transferred to a rehabilitation center after leaving the hospital, you will continue your rehabilitation at the rehabilitation center.
After leaving the hospital, most patients are usually ready for outpatient physical therapy in about one or two weeks, depending on when your doctor feels this is appropriate.
As with any surgical procedure, it’s important that you talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of the procedure and weigh all of your options carefully. Total joint replacement typically results in a better quality of life for most patients because they’re able to take part in physical activities, even as simple as walking, without pain and with improved movement.
Need help finding a doctor?
For more information about orthopedic surgeons and other doctors on Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center, visit our Find a Doctor search.
Free patient information kits and more information about joint replacement technology and new techniques can be found on the following Web pages:
Sentara OrthoJoint Center