Frequently Asked Questions
What is osteoarthritis and why does my hip or knee hurt?
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a wear and tear condition that destroys joint cartilage. Sometimes, as the result of trauma, repetitive movement, or for no apparent reason, the cartilage wears down, exposing the bone ends. Over time, cartilage destruction can result in painful bone-on-bone contact, along with swelling and loss of motion. Osteoarthritis usually occurs later in life and may affect only one joint or many joints.
What is total hip replacement?
The worn socket (acetabulum) is smoothed and lined with a metal cup and either a plastic, metal, or ceramic liner. No longer does bone rub on bone, causing pain and stiffness.
What is total knee replacement?
Who is a candidate for total knee or total hip replacement surgery?
It is only recommended after careful examination and diagnosis of your particular joint problem, and only after more conservative measures such as exercise, physical therapy and medications have proven ineffective.
How long will my new joint (hip or knee) last and can a second replacement be done?
It is important to remember that an implant is a medical device subject to wear that may lead to mechanical failure. While it is important to follow all of your surgeon’s recommendations after surgery, there is no guarantee that your particular implant will last for any specified length of time.
What are the major risks?
How long will I be in the hospital?
What if I live alone?
If you do not think you will be able to go directly home from the hospital, visit local skilled nursing facilities to determine where you want to go for rehabilitation until you become independent enough to return home alone. Keep in mind that you must meet certain criteria for your insurance to pay for a skilled nursing facility stay.
For specific questions or concerns, contact the JRIO Program Manager at 503-435-6571 to discuss your options.
How do I make arrangements for surgery?
What happens during surgery?
Most patients have spinal anesthetic for surgery which numbs your legs but does not require you to be fully asleep. You will discuss your anethesia options further when you meet with an anesthesia provider prior to surgery.
Will the surgery be painful?
Pain after surgery is quite variable from person to person, and not entirely predictable, but advancement in medication and improved anesthetic techniques greatly enhance our ability to control pain and discomfort after surgery. Expect pain to be at its worst the first two weeks after surgery.
How long and where will my scar be?
If you have a hip replacement, There are a number of different techniques used for hip replacement surgery.The type of technique will determine the exact location and length of the scar.
Please note that there may be some numbness around the scar after it is healed. This is perfectly normal and should not cause any concern. The numbness usually disappears with time.
Will I need a walker, crutches or cane?
Patients progress at their own rate and wide variability exists for how long a patient will use an assistive device. This determination will be made on an individual basis based on each patient’s progress.
You may ask your surgeon or program manager about this for more specifics. The program manager can help you obtain these assistive devices if necessary.
Where will I go after discharge from the hospital?
Will I need help at home?
Preparing ahead of time, before your surgery, can minimize the amount of help needed. Having the laundry done, house cleaned, yard work completed, clean linens put on the bed, and frozen meals prepared will help reduce the need for extra help.
Talk to your coach, relatives, friends and even neighbors, to determine who can help you and in what capacity when you return home.
Will I need physical therapy when I go home?
The length of time spent with physical therapy varies widely and is dependent on patient progress and long-term goals. In general, expect to participate with outpatient physical therapy for approximately 4-6 weeks after total knee replacement.
For patients with a total hip replacement: You will need to discuss this with your JRIO Program Manager or your surgeon. If you do not have formalized outpatient therapy, you will still be expected to complete your daily home exercise program two times/day.