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Medical Information

Commonly Asked Questions About
Replacement Surgery 

Joint Replacement

Total joint replacement has allowed millions of people to return to more active lifestyles.

Joint replacement surgery is one of the most important decisions you will make. Your surgeon will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. Here are some common questions and resources that may be helpful when considering surgery.

Docotr explaining to a old woman

Answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Some implants have lasted 15 to 20 years. But just like your natural joint, your new parts can wear out over time. How long yours lasts could depend on:

  • Your age

  • Your weight

  • Your activity level

  • How your implant was made

  • What materials were used during your surgery

For the most success after surgery, you will need to keep up with physical therapy and exercise and follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. Physical therapy may start the same day as your surgery and last up to 4 to 6 months after your surgery. You will need to exercise. This helps your blood flow and makes your muscles stronger. This will help you move around better. You will learn exercises in physical therapy.

Joint replacement is a major surgery. Although it works very well in most cases, some patients may have problems. Complications could include:

  • Infection

  • Blood clots

  • Broken implant

  • Implant not positioned just right

  • Implant wears out faster than anticipated

To lower your risks for problems during surgery, your surgeon may ask you to get some tests ahead of time. You can likely get these from your primary care doctor. You also may need to have any dental problems fixed before surgery. If needed, you should get your home ready so that you have a clear place to walk and can avoid falling.

Each patient is different. Your surgeon will help you decide when it is safe for you to do certain things. But, most patients are able to get back to normal activities in 3 to 4 weeks. These are things like climbing stairs and possibly driving.

You can likely get back to other activities like golf, tennis and swimming after your surgeon says it is safe. Surgeons normally suggest you stay away from high-impact or contact sports. These put too much pressure on your joints and could cause problems.

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