Joint Solutions: State-of-the-art Joint Replacement at CMC
Joint pain can be caused by injury or inflammation to the joint. The most common cause of joint inflammation is osteoarthritis. This occurs when the cartilage covering the ends of the bones wears away, resulting in pain and stiffness.
Initially, osteoarthritis can be treated conservatively with medication, weight loss, exercise to increase range of motion and gain strength, and the use of an assistive device (such as a cane) to relieve stress on the joint.
The goal in treating inflammation is to relieve pain and improve joint function. However, when conservative measures are unsuccessful and the pain you experience diminishes your quality of life, your doctor may recommend total joint replacement surgery.
Let us tell you about Joint Solutions.
The name Joint Solutions reflects the goal of our program: To assist patients in working toward a solution to joint pain and deteriorating function.
We know from patient satisfaction surveys that our patients are satisfied with the education we provide throughout the program, the quality of care they receive, and the favorable outcomes from joint replacement surgery. Knowledge is the power that motivates joint replacement patients to strive for and gain optimal function. As a result, they can resume their lives without the pain they lived with prior to surgery.
The Joint Solutions program has three components to help you through joint replacement surgery.
Before Surgery: Getting Ready
Once you and your surgeon have decided on joint replacement, the surgery is scheduled. At this time, you enroll in a pre-operative education class led by the Joint Solutions program director and an experienced orthopedic nurse.
In class you learn what to expect and how to prepare for the surgery. The class also gives you an opportunity to ask questions and interact with other people preparing for surgery. You’ll learn about the importance of pre-operative exercises in preparation for the surgery and you’ll receive a journal outlining what to expect before, during, and after the operation.
Your Stay at Cayuga Medical Center
The surgical day includes completion of the surgery and optimal post-operative pain control. Our staff will monitor your vital signs and pain level, and will prepare you to begin moving around the next morning. Experienced orthopedic nurses and physical therapists will teach you about total hip precautions and total knee care, depending on the surgery you’ve undergone. This important education and awareness component continues throughout your hospital stay.
Group physical therapy begins in our Joint Solutions gym and continues twice a day, every day, in preparation for discharge. Therapy works on improving strength, range of motion, and mobility. The family member or friend who is acting as your coach is invited to attend these classes to observe and to assist you.
Group physical therapy sessions continue twice a day. As the exercises become more advanced, walking and distances increase, and you will become more independent. You’ll also progress to stair climbing and learn more about total hip precautions and self total knee stretches. Our occupational therapist will assist you with activities of daily living and make recommendations regarding assistive devices (such as reachers, sock aids, or long-handled shoehorns).
Group physical therapy classes continue. Your coach should plan to attend, to help you maximize your gains in independence and function. We wrap up the stay with a gourmet meal for lunch or dinner so that you and your coach can celebrate your success.
Prior to discharge, our discharge-planning nurse will assist you in obtaining necessary equipment and setting up home-care services for physical therapy and nursing. You and your home-care therapist will continue to work for two to four weeks on gaining strength, improving range of motion, and walking without the use of a cane or walker.
After home-care therapy has ended, your surgeon may recommend continued outpatient physical therapy. Outpatient physical therapy is available in our Department of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, located both at the Island Health Center and Cayuga Medical Center’s Convenient Care Center. We offer aquatic therapy at Island Health and Fitness.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the joint last?
The components of the artificial joint last an average of fifteen years, depending on the activity level of the patient. Our surgeons specialize in selecting the optimal components for the activity level and age of each individual patient. Our surgeons also specialize in total joint replacement revision surgery, if necessary.
What are the components made of?
Total joint replacement components may be made of plastic, metal (including cobalt chrome and titanium), or ceramic materials.
How can I best prepare for joint replacement surgery?
The Joint Solutions pre-operative education class outlines how you can best prepare for the surgery and includes information on appropriate exercise, home safety, and arrangements for a post-operative support network.
What are the risk factors for total joint replacement surgery?
Most surgeries occur without any complications. However, the risk of infection and blood clots concern us the most. Antibiotics, blood thinners, and early mobilization assist in preventing these complications.
How much pain will I have?
Many patients have suffered with painful arthritis leading up to the surgery. The pain experienced after total joint replacement surgery is temporary and will diminish over the first few weeks following the surgery. It’s important to keep your post-operative pain under control to allow you to exercise and walk. The staff will work with you to keep you comfortable.
How long until I am back to normal?
The average hospital length of stay is four days, followed by home care and outpatient therapy as needed. Recovery times vary; however, most patients return to driving and work activities four to six weeks after surgery.