Joint Replacement Q & A

What is joint replacement?

Joint replacement is a surgical procedure performed by the orthopedic surgeons at ATJS that involves removing the diseased or damaged portion of the joint surface with highly refined and tested metal, plastic or ceramic devices called a ‘joint replacement’ or ‘prosthesis.’ These interventions might be more accurately named ‘joint resurfacing’ surgeries and, among the most skilled surgeons, are becoming less invasive and more effective.

Depending on the extent of the damage and the joint requiring attention, your surgeon may recommend a total or partial joint replacement. With a partial replacement, only the affected portion of the joint will be removed, leaving healthy bone and soft tissue in place. A partial replacement can speed your healing and decrease the time spent in rehab following surgery.

Why would I need my joint replaced?

Damage done to your joints due to arthritis or injury often causes unrelenting, chronic pain and difficulty with mobility. This can make it tough to accomplish your routine activities. Even getting dressed in the morning can be overwhelming. A simple trip up the stairs may become impossible. Joint replacement relieves the pain and gets you moving again.

Some factors that may lead your surgeon to recommend joint replacement include:

  • Your inability to complete routine daily tasks without help.
  • Significant pain that keeps you awake at night or prevents you from walking, bending over, or using your affected joint.
  • Failure of medications, bracing, physical therapy, and other conservative treatments to relieve your symptoms.
  • Advanced arthritis or significant joint damage noted on X-rays and other diagnostic studies.
What is joint replacement surgery like?

Continued advancements in medical technology and the materials used for joint prostheses offer many options for the type of joint replacement surgery you may undergo. Whenever possible, a minimally-invasive surgical approach over traditional open surgery will be chosen.

Recommendations for your surgery are based on a thorough evaluation of your overall health, activity levels, and your level of joint damage. Regardless of the type of surgery you experience, you can trust his skill, compassion, and commitment to providing you the best surgical options available.

What are the advantages of minimally invasive joint replacement?

Minimally invasive surgical techniques:

  • Require smaller incisions that heal faster than those used in open surgery
  • Lead to less blood loss during surgery
  • Reduce or eliminate the damage done to muscles and other surrounding soft tissue
  • May decrease your risk of developing a postsurgical infection
  • Speed recovery time following surgery and reduce postsurgical pain

Knee Replacement Q & A

Why would I need knee replacement surgery?

Chronic pain interfering with activities, stiffness, and joint instability can impair quality of life enough to consider knee replacement. Surgery is recommended when you’ve tried conservative treatment, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and joint injections but your pain and joint instability make it increasingly difficult to accomplish your daily activities.

What is knee replacement?

Knee replacement surgery is more of a surface replacement than a “replacement” of the entire knee. It starts with pre-surgical planning for the best size and position of each implant to be used in the procedure. This may involve digital images, CT scans, and 3-D, or “virtual” images of your knee. A plan is established for proper alignment of the bone removal and the inserted implants. The extent of bone removal depends on the nature of the knee replacement, but conservation of the normal bone and soft tissues is always a priority. As a result, the supporting structures and most of the bone of your native knee remain intact.

What is partial knee replacement?

Unlike total knee replacement (TKR) which replaces/resurfaces the entire knee, partial knee replacement only addresses the area affected by arthritis. Both partial and total knee replacement can provide pain relief and improve your function. Partial knee replacement is an excellent procedure for appropriately selected patients.

What types of knee surgeries are available?

Whether you’re a candidate for partial or total knee replacement, our surgeons always recommend the least invasive and most suitable surgical approach possible. Computer navigated, and robotically-assisted techniques have become a common part of his practice with the goal of restoring quality of life with surgery that conserves normal tissues, minimizes pain, requires the shortest hospital stay, and offers the quickest recovery.

Patient-focused Innovations in Joint Replacement Surgery

Georgia’s first surgery center focused on joint replacement, located in Cumming, offers comprehensive quality care for patients by formulating customized treatments for joint replacement surgery.

Compassionate care in a convenient location, with proven results.