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Joint replacement 

Joint replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty joint replacement, removes an arthritic or damaged joint and replaces it with artificial parts, which function as a healthy joint. The main benefit of total joint replacement is pain relief. Choosing to have joint replacement surgery can be a life-changing decision. Where to have your surgery is also important because the success of your surgery and recovery depends on the quality of your care. 


At The Christ Hospital Health Network, our orthopedic surgeons work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you, your condition and your lifestyle. We use the latest technology and advanced techniques to offer minimally invasive surgical options when possible. That means less pain for you and shorter recovery times. Our Joint Replacement Nurse Navigator works with you to coordinate your care, answer questions and offer support before, during and after surgery.


Joint replacement services


Our board-certified surgeons use leading-edge technology and the latest research-based treatment methods to perform hip, knee and shoulder joint replacement. Our advanced approach for pain control includes the use of a “pain cocktail” and a peripheral nerve block. We have found this approach to be very beneficial as it significantly reduces or eliminates your need for intravenous or oral pain medication to control pain after your joint replacement. By reducing your pain and the use of pain medicine after surgery, we can shorten your length of stay and improve the overall quality of your recovery.           


Hip joint replacement


Arthritis pain or a hip joint injury can severely limits your ability to walk, work, or do simple activities. If nonsurgical treatments have not improved your symptoms, hip joint replacement may be an option. 

Signs that indicate you may need a hip joint replacement include:

  • Pain with walking or bending the hip

  • Pain at rest, during the day or at night

  • Stiffness in the hip that prevents movement

  • No relief from nonsurgical treatments

A total hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased ball and socket parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts. These parts are typically made of metal, plastic or ceramic. They serve to restore alignment and function to the hip and reduce pain. 

At The Christ Hospital Health Network, our specialists perform total hip replacements using an advanced “anterior approach”. With the anterior approach, your surgeon uses one small incision on the front (anterior) of your hip. This technique allows the surgeon to work between your muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thighbones, sparing these tissues from trauma and a lengthy healing process.           


The anterior approach is made possible with the use of a high-tech operating table that places the leg and pelvis in a stable position. This specially engineered table includes leg supports that allow the surgeon to adjust the operative leg during surgery with a great degree of control and precision. Rather than being positioned on your side or stomach, you lie flat on your back, which minimizes tilting of the pelvis during the operation. The table also gives the surgeon excellent access to the femur, or thighbone, in order to position the stem of the implant effectively.          

Knee joint replacement


The knee is a hinge-like joint that is supported by muscles and ligaments, and lined with cushioning cartilage. Over time, cartilage can wear away and as it does, the knee can become stiff and painful. A knee prosthesis (artificial joint), typically made of metal and plastic, replaces the painful joint and restores movement.


Damage from arthritis is the most common reason for knee joint replacement. If you have the following symptoms, a total knee replacement may be an option to discuss with your doctor:          

  • Chronic knee inflammation 

  • Pain climbing stairs or getting out of a chair 

  • Knee stiffness that makes it impossible to bend or straighten your joint

  • Moderate to severe knee pain while resting 

  • Severe knee pain that limits everyday activities such as walking 

  • Swelling that does not improve with rest or medications  

During a total knee replacement, the knee is placed in a bent position so the entire surface to be replaced is exposed. In most cases, an incision is made lengthwise over the front of the knee, or just to the inside of the kneecap. Up to three bone surfaces may be replaced during a total knee replacement—the lower end of the thighbone (femur), the top surface of the shinbone (tibia) and the back surface of the kneecap (patella). At The Christ Hospital the average hospital stay after a total knee replacement is two-to-three days.     


Shoulder joint replacement


The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, much like the hip joint. The ball is the top of the arm bone (humerus) and the socket is within the shoulder blade (scapula). This joint allows people a wide range of motion at the shoulder. Total shoulder replacement surgery replaces the damaged bone and cartilage with a metal and plastic implant to help alleviate pain. 

The most common reasons people have shoulder joint replacement are:

  • Arthritis - Over time, the shoulder joint slowly becomes stiff and painful. Patients with bone-on-bone arthritis and intact rotator cuff tendons are generally good candidates for conventional total shoulder replacement. Symptoms include pain, limited range of motions, stiffness, swelling and grinding or catching in the joint.    

  • Severe shoulder fracture —When the shoulder is injured by a hard fall or car accident, it may be very difficult for a doctor to put the pieces back together. In this case, your surgeon may recommend a shoulder replacement. 

  • Rotator cuff tear —A massive, long-standing rotator cuff tear may lead to arthritis and destruction of the joint cartilage. A specific type of shoulder replacement, called a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, may be necessary in this particular situation.     

Total shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the arthritic joint surfaces with a highly polished metal ball attached to a stem and a plastic socket. During the surgery, the ball is removed from the top of the humerus and replaced with a metal implant. The socket portion of the joint is shaved clean and replaced with a plastic socket.   


If the bone is of good quality, your surgeon may choose to use a non-cemented or a press-fit humeral component. If the bone is soft, the humeral component may be implanted with bone cement. In most cases, an all-plastic glenoid component is implanted with bone cement.        


Depending on the condition of the shoulder, your surgeon may replace only the ball. Sometimes, this decision is made in the operating room at the time of the surgery. Some surgeons replace the ball when it is severely damaged and the socket is normal. Hospital stays vary from one-to-two days for most patients. You will be sent home wearing a sling and you should not use the arm except as specifically instructed by your doctor.   

 

Outpatient joint replacement


Arthroplasty joint replacement has become a common procedure. Offering this procedure as an outpatient surgery has gained popularity and, for select patients that are otherwise in very good health, it may be an option. 


Outpatient joint replacement is not for everyone. While doing joint replacement on an outpatient basis is relatively new, it is estimated that only about one percent of joint replacement candidates are healthy enough to be candidates. You may not be a candidate for outpatient joint replacement if you have: 

  • A history of negative reactions to anesthesia

  • Breathing issues

  • Diabetes

  • Other heart or pulmonary conditions

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure

For those considering outpatient joint replacement, having a strong support system available to care for you full-time for several days post-op is very important. To learn more about this procedure and to see if you are a potential candidate, please talk with your orthopedic surgeon.

To find a physician that offers Outpatient Joint Replacement at The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center, call 513-557-4900.