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Frequently Asked Questions


If I think I need total joint replacement, what do I do next?


Hip Replacement Dislocation

My mother had a total hip replacement six weeks ago and her physical therapist told her that her hip may pop out of the socket if she's not careful. Should she be worried about this?


Longevity of a Joint Replacement

I had a hip replacement 25 years ago and the doctor told me at the time that I would probably need another one after about 20 years. What symptoms should I expect before seeing the doctor again?


How long should a total hip replacement last?


Partial Knee Replacement

I have arthritis of the knee and my doctor told me that I need a total knee replacement. I have heard of a partial knee replacement. What is the difference between the two?


Whether to have a Hip Replacement

I have hip arthritis. Should I have a hip replacement?


If I think I need total joint replacement, what do I do next?

The easiest way to find out if you're a candidate for total joint replacement is by visiting an orthopedic surgeon.

 

At The Center for Hip & Knee Replacement, one of our specialists will evaluate your full medical history. They might take x-rays to determine the extent of the degenerative process, and draw blood to rule out systematic arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis) or infection.

 

At the end of this comprehensive physical examination, our staff will let you know the full extent of your joint damage or disease. Total joint replacement is usually suggested only after all other options have been explored.

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Hip Replacement Dislocation

My mother had a total hip replacement six weeks ago and her physical therapist told her that her hip may pop out of the socket if she's not careful. Should she be worried about this?

  Dr. Lehman says:

 

Yes, One of the potential complications of hip replacement surgery is dislocation of the prosthesis hip (popping it out of the socket). Although this is not a common as it once was due to improved materials and surgical technique, it still occurs about 1% of the time.

There are specific hip replacement precautions that your mother should abide by in order to minimize this risk. For example, she should avoid excessive bending of the hip as well as twisting and crossing of her legs. Her therapist should have already educated her about these limitations, but she should ask her surgeon about specific activities if she is not certain.

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Longevity of a Joint Replacement

I had a hip replacement 25 years ago and the doctor told me at the time that I would probably need another one after about 20 years. What symptoms should I expect before seeing the doctor again?

  Dr. Lehman says:

 

None, Usually a hip replacement will wear out silently and the plastic debris that is generated will eat away at the bone around the replacement in a process called osteolysis. This process is typically asymptomatic. Symptoms may only occur with a catastrophic event such as a fracture of the bone or dislocation of the hop.

If the replacement loosens, however, groin or thigh pain may ensue.

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How long should a total hip replacement last?

  Dr. Lehman says:

 

The longevity of a hip replacement depends on several factors including the patient’s age, weight, and activity level. Younger patients typically will use their hips more vigorously than older patients, and this could potentially lead to more rapid wear and possibly even loosening of the implant.

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Partial Knee Replacement

I have arthritis of the knee and my doctor told me that I need a total knee replacement. I have heard of a partial knee replacement. What is the difference between the two?

  Dr. Lehman says:

 

A partial or unicondylar knee replacement is a procedure that replaces only a portion of the knee rather than the entire knee. This may be offered to patients with arthritis and is confined to a limited area of the knee in order to preserve the remainder of the otherwise healthy knee.

 

The ligaments of the knee, specifically the ACL, need to be intact in order for a partial knee replacement to function properly. Unfortunately, many patients are not eligible for this procedure because their arthritis is too advanced.

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Whether to have a Hip Replacement

I have hip arthritis. Should I have a hip replacement?

  Dr. Lehman says:

 

Any patient with osteoarthritis of the hip who suffers from pain, stiffness, and significant disability may be a candidate for a hip replacement. Typically, nonoperative measures such as physical therapy, medications, activity modifications and possibly injections are attempted first. If these fail to provide relief, a hip replacement may be considered.

The decision whether or not to have the surgery is up to the patient. If your quality of life is adversely affected, then you may want to consider surgery as an option because hip replacements are more than 90% successful in relieving pain and improving function.

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