Whether you need a new knee, hip, or shoulder, the process of a joint replacement can be broken down into three phases: presurgery, surgery, and recovery. The presurgical period encompasses the initial orthopedic consultations and sometimes conservative treatment (if you do not immediately need surgery).
If conservative treatments do not work, then you will need to consult your doctor about a joint replacement. You can visit the ORTHOKnox orthopedic clinics in Knoxville, Tennessee, or Athens, Tennessee to discuss your options for a joint replacement. At ORTHOKnox, your doctor may recommend MAKOplasty®, in which your surgeon will use a robotic arm to precisely perform your joint replacement surgery.
Once you have your surgery scheduled, you will work with a physical therapist to prepare for your joint replacement and recovery. ORTHOKnox also has a skilled team of on-site physical therapists to support you before and after your surgery. Your recovery after surgery will last about 3–6 months, depending on each individual and which joint you have replaced (shoulder replacements tend to take less recovery time). You will be able to gradually return to high-impact activities after that time.
We have listed a more detailed timeline for a typical joint replacement below!
Timeline for a Joint Replacement
|Symptom onset||You may find your movements restricted, feel pain and stiffness, or experience swelling.|
|Consultation Round 1||If you have persistent symptoms, don’t wait to see your doctor. The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you can return to your activities without pain.|
|Conservative treatment||Your doctor may recommend conservative treatment before surgery (or to avoid surgery altogether). This could include the following:
– RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
– Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joint and work on joint mobilizations and range of motion
– Anti-inflammatory medications
|Consultation Round 2||If conservative options do not work, check back with your doctor to see if joint replacement surgery is best for you.|
|Set the date!||If your doctor determines you need surgery, then you will be scheduled and can start planning your recovery!|
|Before Surgery||You may work with a physical therapist before your surgery to make sure you are prepared for surgery and the recovery process. Your physical therapy will show you the following:
– Exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of your joint
– How to use walker and walk with assistance (if needed)
– Home adaptations (e.g., moving items so you have easy access, setting up a sleeping space in your room or a recliner on the first floor, removing tripping hazards)
|Surgery||Time for a new joint! Most joint replacement surgeries take about an hour. You may have to stay in the hospital for 24 hours while you recover from surgery.|
|Days 1–2 after surgery||Take it easy!
– RICE (rest, ice, compress, and elevate) your new joint
– Work on small movements
|0–3 weeks after surgery||Shoulder replacements should usually stay immobile in a sling.
For knee and hip replacements, you will start to get used to your new joint by working with your physical therapist to improve the following:
– range of motion
– strengthening exercises: concentrate on the muscles surrounding your new joint
– balance (for new knees and hips)
|4–12 weeks after surgery||You will be able to step it up a little as you become acquainted with your new joint. You may find daily activities easy again, and you will continue to exercise and work on your range of motion.|
|12+ weeks after surgery||Congratulations! You can gradually return to activities after this time. Continue to work with your physical therapist until you have achieved your goal activity level.|
Getting Treatment for Joint Pain in Knoxville and Athens, TN
With its on-site physical therapists, board-certified surgeon, and Urgent Orthopedic Care that is available without an appointment, ORTHOKnox has got you covered. For more information about how ORTHOKnox can treat your joint pain, call (865) 251-3030, or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you!