Considering joint replacement surgery? We know it may seem overwhelming. That's why at Astria Regional Medical Center, we've designed our program to put you at ease.
In just three steps, we'll see you through every phase of care, from pre-op education through your last therapy session. Along the way, you'll have the support of a dedicated care team—including your surgeon, care coordinator, specialized nurses, and physical and occupational therapists—committed to helping you get back to your best.
Step 1: Discovery
When it comes to joint replacement, the more informed you are, the better your experience. A few weeks before your surgery, you'll attend a class, along with family and friends you'd like to invite. There, you'll meet members of your care team; receive a comprehensive guidebook covering your procedure, hospital stay and postoperative care; learn how to plan for a smooth transition home; and ask any and all questions to feel confident and prepared.
Step 2: Surgery
On the big day, your surgeon will make sure you're comfortable and review what to expect before, during and immediately after your procedure. At Astria Regional Medical Center, we offer advanced joint replacement solutions, including minimally invasive, robotic technology for partial knee replacement and total hip replacement. Compared with traditional surgery, these techniques often result in less pain, fewer complications, speedier recovery and a more fluid, functional joint.
Step 3: Recovery
Finally, you'll spend a few days recovering in your own private room—and your own comfy clothes—on our dedicated orthopedic wellness floor. Everyone's a little different, but on the first day, your physical and occupational therapist will work to get you up and moving. The next day, you'll bond with your floormates during group therapy, and enjoy a special lunch with your coach (usually a spouse or friend who lends additional support). The day you leave, we'll answer any last-minute questions—and send you home ready to rediscover the life you love.
Joint Replacement Jitters
If hip or knee pain is keeping you from enjoying life like you used to, a joint replacement procedure at Astria Regional Medical Center may be just what you need. Unfortunately, many people put off this potentially life-changing surgery because of common but outdated concerns. Read on to put a few of those fears to rest.
Fear: Joint replacement surgery is extremely painful.
Fact: While joint replacement is still major surgery with some discomfort immediately after the procedure, having a joint replaced is no longer the daunting experience it once was.
In the past, joint replacement surgery typically involved a large incision to reach the damaged or diseased joint. Today, advances in surgical techniques allow surgeons to perform the procedure through smaller incisions and with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues—often resulting in faster recovery.
Fear: After surgery, I will be off my feet for a long time.
Fact: While not a quick fix, joint replacement surgery does not involve weeks or months of bed rest. In fact, the rehabilitation team at Astria Regional Medical Center helps get patients up and moving soon after the procedure, often the same day.
Generally, joint replacement patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery, followed by a few weeks of outpatient therapy. The time it takes to make a full recovery depends on many factors, including the reason for the surgery and type of procedure performed, as well as the age and overall health of the patient, but it typically takes three to six months. In addition, the patient's commitment to following through with postsurgical recommendations from the surgeon and physical therapist helps ensure recovery will be as short and smooth as possible.
Fear: The new joint will wear out in a few years.
Fact: Years ago, joint replacement patients often required a second "revision" surgery to correct a joint implant that had become unstable, painful or worn out within a few years of the original procedure. Thanks to new developments in materials and structural designs, modern joint replacement implants last much longer.
Leading-edge metal alloys, including titanium and cobalt-chromium, and sophisticated plastics, such as ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, have contributed to the durability of joint implants. Together, these advances help ensure better fit, smoother function and longer-lasting relief for patients of all ages.