Baxter Regional Bone & Joint Clinic



I’ve been told I need a knee or hip replacement. Are there any options besides surgery?

There are numerous treatment options available. Arthritis medicines, steroid and hyaluronic acid injections, therapy are a few options. Surgery should only be considered when the above options do not work and the pain is at the level where activities of daily living are being affected.

What are the major risks involved with joint replacement surgery?

As with any surgery, there are inherent risks. Serious risks include blood clots, infection and complications of anesthesia.

I am overweight and have been told I cannot have joint replacement surgery. Is this true?

Obesity can increase the risk of complications during and after surgery. Infections are more common in obese patients and the prosthesis may not last as long as it would in a patient who is at a healthy weight. This is frustrating for patients who are unable to lose weight due to the pain and immobility associated with arthritis. Dr. Moore will consult with the patient’s primary care physician for medical clearance prior to surgery. If the patient is cleared by his or her physician, Dr. Moore will proceed with surgery.

What kind of restrictions will I have following anterior hip replacement?

There are very few restrictions following anterior hip replacement. Unlike with traditional hip replacement where the gluteus muscles are cut and repaired, you CAN put your socks and shoes on and tie them. The risk of dislocation is much lower. You should avoid stepping backwards with your operative leg. If backing up, lead with your nonoperative leg. DO NOT allow foot to externally rotate (turn outwards).

How long will I have to stay in the hospital following total joint replacement?

This varies by individual. The state of a patient’s overall health is a major factor in determining length of stay. On average a patient will be in the hospital for three days and then may go home with home health care or may go to an extended care facility for continued therapy and assistance until they are able to care for themselves more independently. 

How long does an artificial joint last?

This varies by individual and activity level. The patient’s weight affects this also. For the average person, approximately 15 years is a reasonable expectation.

How soon can I drive following total joint replacement?

It depends on whether the surgery was on the right or left leg. This is typically determined on a case by case basis. Several factors are taken into consideration: is the patient still taking pain medicine? Is the patient able to walk without the assistance of a cane or walker? Has the patient regained strength and good range of motion in the operative extremity?