Category Archives: Joint Replacement

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The Ins and Outs of Finger Joint Replacement

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If you’ve been experiencing pain from arthritis in the knuckles of your fingers, and nonsurgical treatments have not reduced your pain, your doctor may recommend Finger Arthroplasty. Although the name sounds a bit intimidating, finger joint replacement is a safe procedure that has excellent results for most patients. Today, we’re going to look at what finger joint replacement entails, what recovery is like, as well as the level of permanent results you can expect.

 

Finger joint replacement isn’t actually as invasive as it may sound. Arthritis in the knuckles is usually a result of excessive wear and tear on the articular cartilage that cushions the ends of the finger bones. When the articular cartilage wears out, the bones slide against each other and can cause extreme pain. In a finger joint replacement, surgeons use plastic silicon implants in place of the degraded natural tissue. This silicon has a long lifespan and is much less subject to erosion from use, making it an ideal candidate to provide long lasting relief.44448133_ml

 

Because finger joint replacement is a well-researched and studied procedure, surgeons are extremely experienced in performing it and can use either general anesthesia (where you are completely asleep) or local anesthesia (where you will remain awake but feel no pain or discomfort). Any procedure involving any level of anesthesia can have complications; so if you’ve had any issues in the past with anesthesia, or have issues with your breathing, let your doctor know well before your surgery. No surgeon can guarantee any specific result, and every surgery carries risks. Finger joint replacement can result in infection, nerve damage, or failure of the prosthesis. However, these risks are extremely low provided you choose a reputable surgeon and follow his or her instructions carefully.

 

After surgery, your hand will be in either a splint or a cast for about three weeks. Immediately after surgery, you may experience some discomfort that you may choose to control with pain medication. To avoid swelling or throbbing, your doctor will advise you to keep your hand elevated for the first three to five days. Once your finger is healing well, you will progress to rehabilitation. Ultimately, most patients have a return to full function with no lasting pain or stiffness. If you’re ready to move forward and regain pain-free use of your fingers, contact us today to request an appointment!


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Ankle Replacement: What You Need to Know

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Ankle replacement surgery is the procedure used to replace your own damaged bones or joints with artificial ones in response to damage severe enough to render the ankle unusable. While not uncommon, ankle replacement surgery is a major procedure that should be done by a reputable team of surgeons, and only when absolutely necessary. If you have had an injury that resulted in persistent and severe pain that limits mobility and a partial or total ankle replacement has been suggested, read on to learn more about the procedure and know what to expect.

 

When Ankle Replacement Is Suggested:

 

Ankle replacement surgery – whether partial or complete – can be suggested for a number of reasons. Here are the most common reasons for an ankle replacement.Untitled design (21)

  • Bone fractures
  • Arthritis caused by previous ankle injuries or surgeries
  • Infection
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

What Risks Are Associated With The Procedure?

 

There are a few risks that accompany an ankle replacement surgery. In addition to the general risks of infection, allergic reactions, breathing problems, and blood clots associated with any surgical procedure, the most common risks of ankle replacements are:

  • Weakness in the ankle
  • The artificial joint loosening over time and resulting in instability
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage
  • Allergic reaction to the artificial joint
  • Dislocation of the artificial joint

 

Trained and experienced NJ joint specialists do ankle replacement surgery under general anesthesia. The team will open the ankle up and remove damaged joints. These damaged joints will then be replaced by prosthetics. In the first hours and days following surgery, patients experience some numbness and pain in the leg and ankle, which can be addressed with pain medication. After leaving the hospital, you will need to walk with assistance, such as crutches or a walker, for between four and six weeks to give the ankle the opportunity to fully heal.

 

If you believe you are a candidate for replacement surgery, visit our website to request a consultation and get started on recovery.


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Signs You May Need A Hip Replacement

Hip and joint pain sufferers understand the seriousness of chronic hip joint pain. Day to day living and basic self-care activities can become nearly impossible for those suffering from Arthritis and hip injury related pain. For most, trained sports medicine specialists can provide a host of techniques for reducing the pain levels and increasing your degree of mobility. For many, however, the pain becomes chronic and severe enough that a hip replacement is the only solution for lasting relief. How do you know if you’ve reached that point? First and foremost, consult your hip specialist for an official diagnosis. If you think you may have reached that level of pain, read on to learn the most common signs that you may need a hip replacement.

 

Signs You May Need a Hip Replacement:    

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  • Inability to Walk or Bend: If your Arthritis or injury pain has reached the point in which you no longer can walk or bend without significant effort or assistance, it may be time to speak with a hip replacement specialist about your options.
  • Resting Pain: Resting pain refers to pain that is present, severe, and persistent even while your body is at rest. Examples of this are pain while sleeping or laying down to rest during the day. If your resting body is still experiencing pain, speak with a hip specialist today.
  • Stiffness Preventing Lifting: If the pain in your hip has resulted in stiffness that no longer permits you to lift your leg without a struggle, the hip joint has likely reached hip replacement levels.
  • Ineffective Non-Surgical Relief Procedures: Most hip surgeons will start by recommending a host of non-surgical pain relief techniques before mentioning hip replacement. These can include pain management techniques, medical massages, acupuncture and physical therapy. If none of these treatments has produced lasting relief, a hip replacement might be your only available option.

 

Additionally, those suffering from Arthritis and Arthritis Necrosis are almost always candidates for hip replacement. If you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, call today to request an appointment with a hip replacement specialist.


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Shoulder Replacement Surgery

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When you say joint replacement surgery, chances are knees and hips are what come to mind first. But joint replacement surgery is actually used to restore a number of other key areas, including the shoulder. Like any joint replacement, shoulder replacement surgery is a serious and advanced procedure with a significant recovery time. It’s considered only in cases of severe pain and loss of function. It may not result in “pro-athlete” level flexibility, but it can offer patients a new shot at a pain-free and more mobile life.

Pre-Surgery

Before even considering shoulder replacement surgery as an option, your doctor will work with you to explore more conservative treatments such as medication and exercise. Patients are also evaluated to make sure they are in good enough health to undergo the procedure successfully.

The Procedure

There are several types of surgery used to treat different shoulder joint conditions. The most basic variety of shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the end of the upper arm (which has a bulbous, ball-like end) and shoulder bone (which has a rounded, concave end where the end of the upper arm bone fits into place). These areas may be capped with artificial surfaces lined in plastic or metal, a practice known as shoulder resurfacing.

A newer procedure, reverse total shoulder replacement, is sometimes used for patients suffering from arthritis in the shoulder. Basically, instead of attaching the rounded joint component to the top of the upper arm bone, it’s attached to the shoulder bone, and the concave component is attached to the upper arm bone. This method can be more effective for patients with certain kinds of muscle damage.

Recovery

Recovery normally takes a minimum of three months, during which time it’s vital to keep the area appropriately exercised. A physical therapist will work with you on specific exercises. Generally, patients should plan on three days at the hospital post surgery, followed by a period of very limited activity the first six weeks. Even after full recovery, it’s important to make an effort to keep the joint active so that it stays healthy and functional.

If you are suffering from severe shoulder pain, contact the New Jersey Joints specialists to learn more about your treatment options.


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How to Help Your Loved Ones Pre and Post Joint Replacement Surgery

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Patients undergoing joint replacement surgery can use all the help they can get–even if they don’t always know how to ask for it. Major surgery presents more than physical challenges, and it’s profoundly helpful for patients to have support in all forms.Whether you are the spouse, child, friend, sibling, or other family member of a joint replacement patient, there are ways you can help.

Educate Yourself

A little homework can go a long way. Joint replacement surgery means confronting a lot of potentially scary experiences, such as anesthesia, the operation, and the medications many patients take after surgery. The more mysterious these things are, the more frightening. The more you can discuss them, understand them, and prepare for them, the more comfortable patients can feel with the procedure. Walk through the steps of preparation and recovery with the patient regularly to make them clearer and more familiar.

Meet The Doctor(s)

Ask if you can tag along on a visit to the doctor. The physicians, surgeons, and physical therapists that your loved one will be seeing are a great resource for tips on how you can help provide the best care. Plus, it can be overwhelming as a patient to take in all the info and guidelines discussed each visit. You can help by taking notes, and by asking questions. As an outsider, you may have a clearer perspective on the conversation–patients can feel distracted by anxiety, pain, or, post-surgery, even medication. You may even want to brainstorm some questions with your loved one beforehand, so that you can make sure they are all answered.

Chauffeur

This may sound obvious, but transportation is a big deal to someone going into or recovering from surgery. Even if a patient is technically okay to drive, they may feel uncomfortable doing so, and may be reluctant to ask for a ride to avoid feeling as if they are a burden. If your availability as a driver is limited, help look for a solution. Organize a rideshare group with other family members or friends who want to pitch in. Or, look for a reliable car service or app like Uber or Lyft, and try using it together to help get your loved one comfortable with this alternative.

Be a Rehabilitation Cheerleader

Recovery from joint replacement surgery can be slow, and even painful. It can be easy to feel like things will never get better, or even that they’re worse than before. Keep your loved one motivated by tracking and celebrating their progress–even the small stuff. Assure them that recovery takes time (though if it seems to be taking too long, definitely call the doctor). Recognize the hard work they’re putting in, and let them know that you’re proud of them.

Take Care of Yourself

At the end of the day, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Get sleep, eat well, exercise. Your loved one made the very difficult decision to undergo joint replacement–very likely in part because they want to be more mobile, and better able to be part of your life. The best way you can honor and respect their courage and strength is to not take your health for granted.

If you or someone you love is considering joint replacement surgery, we encourage you to request an appointment with our joint specialists to learn more about your options.


Limited mobility and chronic pain from damaged joints is a tragedy that affects more than just one person — it robs families, loved ones, and communities of so much you have to offer. The specialists at the Advanced Joint Replacement Institute want to help you get back on your feet and out in the world. Our team has the experience, skills, and technology to replace joints using minimally invasive techniques for a faster recovery time, less pain, and less scarring.