Total Hip Replacements
Total hip replacements are most commonly performed because of the pain and immobility caused by severe arthritis in the hip joint. The most common type of arthritis leading to total hip replacement is degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis, of the hip joint. This type of arthritis is generally seen with ageing, congenital abnormality of the hip joint or prior trauma to the hip joint.
Other causes include rheumatoid arthritis, injury to the hip or childhood hip disease. Thousands of total hip replacements are performed each year in Australia.
Total Knee Replacements
If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard for you to perform simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even begin to feel pain while you are sitting or lying down. If nonsurgical treatments like medications and using walking supports are no longer helpful, you may want to consider total knee replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain, correct leg deformity, and help you resume normal activities.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and having functioning knees is required to perform most daily activities. Total knee replacement, or arthroplasty, is a procedure that replaces damaged or worn joint cartilage in the knees with artificial joints.
Osteoarthritis, a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage, is the most common reason for knee replacement in Australia. The wearing away of cartilage causes bones to rub tighter, resulting in pain, swelling and loss of joint motion.
Hospital stays following a knee replacement can be up to a week following surgery. Rehabilitation exercises begin soon after a patient returns home. Chiropractors and physiotherapists are instrumental in all aspects of knee replacement rehabilitation.
The most common cause of chronic knee pain and disability is arthritis. Although there are many types of arthritis, most knee pain is caused by just three types: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis. This is an age-related “wear and tear” type of arthritis. It usually occurs in people 50 years of age and older, but may occur in younger people, too. The cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee softens and wears away. The bones then rub against one another, causing knee pain and stiffness.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. This is a disease in which the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. This chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of a group of disorders termed “inflammatory arthritis.”
- Post-traumatic arthritis. This can follow a serious knee injury. Fractures of the bones surrounding the knee or tears of the knee ligaments may damage the articular cartilage over time, causing knee pain and limiting knee function.
When Surgery Is Recommended
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend knee and hip replacement surgery. People who benefit from total replacement often have:
- Severe pain or stiffness that limits your everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. You may find it hard to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain and you may need to use a cane or walker
- Moderate or severe pain while resting, either day or night
- Chronic inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
- Orthopaedic deformity — a bowing in or out of your leg
- Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries
Treatment for Total Knee & Hip Replacement
Following surgery or other medical consultation, a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist will work with your doctor to set up a pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation program. Statistics show that patients who receive treatment and pre-habilitation pre-surgery are known to have superior outcomes (e.g. significantly faster recovery) than those who only receive treatment only postoperatively.
In the case of knee and hip replacements, patients have generally had arthritis and therefore pain and difficulties for quite some time. So, at Spinal and Sports Care, emphasis is placed on education in correcting your gait, increasing range of motion (bending the knee at minimum to 90 degrees) and joint stability, and strengthening of all muscles that surround and support the knee and hip.