Accelerated Rehabilitation Following Total Joint Replacement
Dr. D'Agostini: Welcome to Tri-County Orthopedics. I'm Doctor Bob D'Agostini, a general orthopedic surgeon with interest in sports medicine and joint replacement.
Total joint replacement procedures are operations in which the articular surfaces of the joints are replaced with metal and plastic devices. Commonly done in this country are: shoulder replacements, hip replacements, and knee replacements.
I'm proficient in all of these operations. Total joint replacement is recommended when the symptoms emanating from the diseased joint have taken a significant effect on the patient's life. When you can no longer enjoy life, when you can no longer move freely, when you're dependent upon a cane or medications for daily function, then it's time for a joint replacement.
Our approach for rehabilitation after total joint replacement is aggressive. We've constructed a system that allows the patient to feel well enough that they can get up and walk within two to three hours of the operation. Most of them are climbing stairs the next day and home by the second day after the operation.
This is possible because of the system that we have developed in concert with our anesthesiologist and with the active participation of the patient in their own recovery.
After total joint replacement procedure, patients can expect a mild to moderate amount of discomfort, which will be handled quite nicely with our pain protocol. Patient can expect the full attention of our physical therapist and our nurses in helping them to get up and recover quickly.
We do ask our patients to be active participants in their care, and I do hope that they'll work hard in their own behalf. After total joint replacement, I encourage my patients to exercise on their own several times a day. We do not rely upon our physical therapists alone, they're the icing on the cake. The real work is done by the patients in their own behalf. In order for them to do this, they have to be comfortable and they have to feel well. We have crafted a system that works for the vast majority of patients in achieving this goal.