Hip and Knee Replacement at University Hospitals
If hip or knee pain and stiffness are truly preventing you from being yourself and living your life, it may be time to consider joint replacement at University Hospitals. Realize your potential and start living. Walk into a new beginning of long-term relief, mobility, and a renewed quality of life.
Find out if joint replacement is right for youTo discuss your options with one of our orthopedic surgeons, call 216-844-7200 or schedule an appointment online.
What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?
During hip or knee replacement surgery, the damaged part of the joint is removed and then replaced with an implant. The procedure significantly decreases pain and improves quality of life. For the majority of people, a total joint replacement will last up to 20 years, and sometimes even longer.
Joint replacement surgery will not be conducted until all possible conservative treatments have been exhausted. These may include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, bracing and weight loss.
How Long Will I Be in the Hospital?
The orthopedic experts at University Hospitals use the latest minimally invasive approaches for joint replacement surgery whenever possible. Some patients, based on a variety of factors, may be eligible for outpatient hip or knee replacement, meaning they are discharged to recover at home 4 -23 hours after their surgery. Others may require a short hospital stay (1-4 days) to monitor their recovery, particularly if other medical conditions exist.
Types of Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery
Our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons have specialized training in knee and hip replacement and are experts in performing:
- Anterior approach for hip replacement
- Hip arthroplasty
- Hip revision surgery
- Knee arthroplasty
- Partial hip replacement
- Partial knee replacement
- Total hip replacement
- Total knee replacement
When Is It Time To Have Hip or Knee Replacement Surgery?
Total knee or hip replacement surgery is a major operation with extensive recovery time. If you've tried non-invasive treatments and still have not found relief, it may be time to talk with your doctor or surgeon about total hip or knee replacement. Your surgeon will thoroughly examine your joint through X-rays and physical testing to determine if replacement is the best option.
The following are common signs that you may be a good candidate for joint replacement:
- Pain during humid or rainy weather
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty walking or climbing stairs
- Grinding in your hip or knee joint
- Moderate, but continuous knee or hip pain, day or night
- Severe pain or debilitating stiffness
- Chronic joint inflammation and swelling that doesn't go down with rest or medication
- Inability to perform simple routine tasks
- No pain relief from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or an inability to tolerate them
- Discomfort from a previous injury
- How to Prepare for Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery
Once your surgeon has determined that you're a good fit for a hip or knee replacement, you will be required to go to medical consultations, physical evaluations and a preop joint replacement class about a month before your operation date. At your consultation, nurses or your surgeon will consult with you about how to prepare for your operation as well as the risks involved with surgery. The following are some general things to do before your surgery date.
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Manage blood glucose if diabetic
- Quit smoking
- Review medications
- Exercise regularly
- Day of Your Surgery
The operation itself can take anywhere from 45 minutes to over two hours, depending on the complexity of the surgery. You will usually be under general, spinal or epidural anesthetic. Implants are typically made of chrome and cobalt or titanium as well as a plastic material called polyethylene.
Immediately following your knee or hip replacement surgery, you’ll spend some time in recovery where you’ll be given various painkillers and fluids. You can usually leave the hospital within one to two days. Arrangements will be made for wound care, follow-up appointments and physical therapy.
What to Bring to the Hospital
There are a few items that you’ll want to bring to the hospital to make your brief stay more comfortable. Keep it to necessities and must-have comfort items.
- Loose clothing
- Loose pajamas or a short nightgown
- Closed-heel slippers with rubber soles
- Sneakers or shoes with Velcro or elastic laces
- Eyeglasses (if needed)
- Hearing aid and batteries (if needed)
- CPAP machine, tubing and settings (if needed)
- List of current medications and supplements, noting those which have been stopped prior to surgery (do not bring your own medications)
- Toiletry items, including toothbrush, toothpaste, denture cleanser, razor, shaving cream, brush/comb, deodorant, etc.
- Driver’s license or photo ID
- Insurance card, Medicare or Medicaid card
- Cellphone, smartphone or calling card
- Emergency contacts and the phone number of the person who's bringing you home
- A copy of advanced directives
- Any hand-carry medical equipment you may need (e.g., reachers or a long-handled shoehorn)
- What to Expect After Joint Replacement Surgery
Your knee or hip replacement surgery recovery time will depend on your age, general health, muscle strength and the overall condition of your other joints. But there are some things you can do to help aid in your recovery:
- Let your surgeon and nurses know if you’ve had any issues with pain medications in the past.
- Keep drinking fluids. Once you’re drinking enough, your IVs will be removed.
- Keep moving. Immediately after surgery with the assistance of your therapist you will get up to go to the bathroom, get out of bed, etc. As you continue with therapy, your mobility level will increase.
- Utilize the cold packs, wraps and oral pain medication provided to manage pain and reduce swelling.
- Exercise following your physical therapist’s recommendations to improve your mobility. This includes moderate to low-impact exercises like walking, biking and swimming.
- Monitor for signs of infection, blood clotting and pulmonary embolism.
What Not To Do After Joint Replacement Surgery
Most patients can resume normal activities and routines six weeks after surgery, but keep in mind that there may be pain and swelling for up to three months. To lessen the chances of issues and complications, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid for a speedy and successful recovery.
- Don’t pivot or twist the leg that has been operated on.
- Don’t bend down, kneel or squat.
- Don’t lift heavy things.
- Don’t stand for long periods.
- Don’t soak your wound until the scar is healed to avoid infection.