More than a hundred people packed into The Great Hall and Conference Center on November 1 to hear about total joint replacement from Campbell Clinic surgeon, Dr. Patrick Toy.
Attendees came from all different parts of Tennessee, some even traveling out-of-state to hear what Dr. Toy had to say. While their backgrounds were varied, attendants did share one thing in common: joint pain in the hips, shoulders and knees, causing them to ask themselves the main question, “Do I need total joint replacement surgery?”
Maybe you’ve asked yourself this question, too. And now is the time to get your answers. Below, we’ve compiled a list of a few of the questions that you heard or may have missed at the Total Joint Replacement seminar, so you, too, can be better informed.
Q. I have shoulder issues. If I were to get a shoulder replacement, would that increase my range of motion?
Dr. Toy: Shoulders are more complicated. There could be other things going on with it. You could have rotator cuff issues; arthritis could also be an issue. The reason to pursue total joint replacement is for pain. If you have limited motion in your shoulder preoperatively, you probably will get more range of motion in your shoulder.
Q. How long do implants last?
Dr. Toy: The standard is 15-30 years. My goal is for you to have zero surgeries. If you have to have surgery, my goal is for you to have one surgery. If you have to have surgery, I tell people to wait as long as they can to have it. Once you have it, maintain low-impact activities and a healthy weight.
Q. What’s the protocol for total knee replacement rehab?
Dr. Toy: The protocol for a knee or a hip replacement is outpatient therapy. Or, Monday’s getting in the hospital or medical facility, and then two days after getting home, starting outpatient physical therapy. Part of your rehab process is you actually getting out of your house, getting in your car, and coming to a place. There’s a benefit to that. There’s not only a benefit to your knee or hip, but also, it’s beneficial to your mind. Getting up and getting around is beneficial to you. Your rehab starts when you get out the front door of your house. Rehab is person-dependent and typically lasts four to eight weeks.
Q. How long are you normally off work after surgery?
Dr. Toy: It depends on what you do for a living, but approximately four to six weeks. Some people need a little bit longer. Some people may not want to miss much work, and I will not hold you back, but your hip or knee may hold you back.
Q. What are the qualifications for surgery, as far as health?
Dr. Toy: It’s not a number, in my hands. It’s a physiology. If you are healthy enough to have a joint replacement, then I think it is reasonable to have the surgery.
Q. Can you actually drive to physical therapy?
Dr. Toy: Usually, I like to have someone drive you the first couple of weeks as you get into therapy. It’s helpful to have someone around for the first couple of days, but after that, you don’t need to have someone 24/7.
Q. What are the materials of the joint made out of? Does the bone grow into it?
Dr. Toy: The stem and socket is made out of titanium. The metal ball is made out of cobalt chrome, and the plastic is polyethylene. We put the right sizing of the implant in the bone, and then the surface is created such that the bone grows up on it.
Q. Can you get both knees replaced at the same time?
Dr. Toy: It’s becoming less and less favorable, because studies are coming out that there is an increased risk in blood clots, infections and blood transfusions. I prefer that you do one, then the other one six or so weeks later, instead of doing both at the same time.
Q. Assuming you have a normal hip surgery, how long until you can start swimming again?
Dr. Toy: It depends on the person, but I would say as early as three to four weeks if they were doing okay. For knee surgery, I would say about six weeks.
If you have any questions about total joint replacement please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.