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Joint Replacement Jitters?

If hip or knee pain is keeping you from enjoying life like you used to, a joint replacement procedure at Astria Regional Medical Center may be just what you need. Unfortunately, many people put off this potentially life-changing surgery due to common but outdated concerns. Read on to put a few of those fears to rest.

Fear: Joint replacement surgery is extremely painful.

Fact: While joint replacement is still major surgery with some discomfort immediately after the procedure, having a joint replaced is no longer the daunting experience it once was.

In the past, joint replacement surgery typically involved a large incision to reach the damaged or diseased joint. Today, advances in surgical techniques allow surgeons to perform the procedure through smaller incisions and with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues—often resulting in faster recovery.

Fear: After surgery, I will be off my feet for a long time.

Fact: While not a quick fix, joint replacement surgery does not involve weeks or months of bed rest. In fact, the rehabilitation team at Astria Regional Medical Center helps get patients up and moving soon after the procedure, often the same day.

Generally, joint replacement patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery, followed by a few weeks of outpatient therapy. The time it takes to make a full recovery depends on many factors, including the reason for the surgery and type of procedure performed, as well as the age and overall health of the patient, but it typically takes three to six months. In addition, the patient’s commitment to following through with postsurgical recommendations from the surgeon and physical therapist helps ensure recovery will be as short and smooth as possible.

Fear: The new joint will wear out in a few years.

Fact: Years ago, joint replacement patients often required a second “revision” surgery to correct a joint implant that had become unstable, painful or worn out within a few years of the original procedure. Thanks to new developments in materials and structural designs, modern joint replacement implants last much longer.

Leading-edge metal alloys, including titanium and cobalt-chromium, and sophisticated plastics, such as ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, have contributed to the durability of joint implants. Together, these advances help ensure better fit, smoother function and longer-lasting relief for patients of all ages.

Get More Answers Straight from an Orthopedic Specialist

Now that you know the facts, it may be time to see if a joint replacement procedure can help you find relief. Call (509) 776-0579 or find a skilled orthopedic surgeon near you in Yakima or Kittitas County.