Hamilton is the #1 hospital in the market for major orthopedic surgery and is certified by The Joint Commission in shoulder, hip, and knee replacement surgery. Hamilton also received the Vizient Mid South Total Joint and Spine Top Performer award.
Joint replacement will only be considered after nonsurgical alternatives fail to relieve pain and disability.
During surgery the damaged parts of the joint are removed and artificial parts are inserted to replace them.
Artificial joint components may be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. Bone cement may be used to anchor the components to bones, or cementless joints, in which the replacement and the bone are made to fit directly together, may be used.
The recovery period after surgery depends on the person's overall health and which joint was replaced.
In general, people are encouraged to use the joint shortly after the operation. The doctor will recommend exercises to strengthen the joint.
Risks of joint replacement surgery include blood clots, infection, loosening, dislocation and nerve injury.
Infection can occur at any time, even years after the surgery, and can be prevented or treated with antibiotics. Artificial joints can become infected when bacteria travel from the mouth, skin or elsewhere and get lodged in the new joint. If it is a deep infection, it may require further surgery and removal of the new joint. To help prevent this complication, tell your dentist that you've had a joint replacement and talk to your doctor before you have any dental work performed. You may need to take antibiotics before some dental procedures.
Blood clots can be prevented with medicines, exercises, or special clothing or equipment. If you're at risk for blood clots after surgery, your surgeon will tell you how to prevent this complication.
A permanent replacement
Most older people can expect their total joint replacement to last a lifetime. It can provide years of pain-free living.