Hip and Knee Replacements Chat

Emory Orthopedic Surgeon, Thomas Bradbury, MD conducted an online web chat on Hip and Knee Replacements. He was available to answer questions such as who are candidates for hip or knee replacements, what are the newest advances in Hip and Knee replacements, what is Emory’s approach on when to get knee or hip replacement surgery and recovery after a hip or knee replacement.

  • Anita M.

    My question relates to the limitations and projected outcome of replacement of a severely damaged and previously repaired knee. My repair (1979)involving a metal staple like object so I believe I would not be a candidate for an MRI. can you project outcome with XRays as only diagnostic tool?

    • Dr. Bradbury

      Hi Anita, X-rays are the ideal study- they are cost effective and give the surgeon a tremendous amount of information when it comes to making decisions about knee replacement surgery. Only if your joint space is well preserved on x-ray would I recommend a more advanced
      Imaging study like MRI. If your staple is “non-ferric”, you can have an MRI. The metal will degrade the image quality though.

  • DD.

    I had knee surgery in 1986 and have had problems with my knee on and off and was told that I may have to have a TK at some point and I am 44 years old right now.. Are there any options to the traditional surgery?

    • Dr. Bradbury

      In my opinion, it can be dangerous to sign up for the “latest and greatest” technique or implant (recalled implants don’t work well!). The traditional surgery done with proper technique using implants that have a proven track record is your best bet!

  • Anita

    Will you please elaborate on the risks associated with knee replacement (beyond standard risks of any surgery)? what % of patients end up with good results? what is considered a bad outcome?

    • Dr. Bradbury

      Hi Anita, A firm understanding of the risks as they pertain to the surgery is very important. The risks specific to knee replacement include the following: infection around the implant, loosening of the implant from the bone, stiffness in the knee after surgery, Instability of the knee (ie- too much “wobble” that makes walking down stairs or on uneven ground difficult, swelling, damage to the tendon that allows the knee to extend (the “patellar tendon), numbness around the knee, nerve or blood vessel damage or blood clots in the leg or lung (“DVT or PE”). In general the risks are low.

      Approximately 85% of patients who have knee replacement surgery report significant improvements in pain, function and quality of life. If the knee has “bone on bone” arthritis and the surgery is done well, it is rare to have a patient report a negative experience.

  • Doug R.

    Great chat session. Dr. Bradbury’s answers were very informative and helpful. Thank you very much!

  • cecilia

    Dr. Bradbury did my hip replacement, anterior entry on July 9th 2012. Gave me my life back….what more can you ask for?

    • Emory Healthcare

      That’s Wonderful, Cecilia! Congrats on your recovery!

  • Judy

    Dr. Bradbury, I am so sorry I missed your live chat June 11th. After I signed up for it I anticipated it every day. On the 10th company came unexpectedly for two days and with my knee problems, hip and RLS, I didn’t even think about it again until the 13th! At times I am momentarily paralyzed with pain. My Dr. just says, “Give it more time.” I had my TKR Nov.1 and it has gotten worse instead of better. Striker was used but he said none of what he used was recalled. I am desperate. Thanks so much!

    • Dr. Bradbury

      Hi Judy- Sometimes full recovery is a lengthy process. However, If you are still having this much pain, a second opinion may be worth while.

  • Elaine B.

    I have had 2 THRs this year. The second HR is still very uncomfortable in the groin area and sometimes when sitting. When I get up from sitting, the recently operated leg (hip) seems to give way and my walking seems to be getting worse! Climbing stairs can be difficult also. Am I being impatient as I thought I would be walking a lot better now. I only received physio in hospital would I benefit from physio now?

    • Dr. Bradburry

      Hi Elaine – It is difficult to answer this question without seeing you in person and knowing more about your two hip surgeries this year. Physical therapy might be something your doctor would prescribe for you at this time, but we would recommend calling your doctor’s office and speaking to him or his nurse about this.

  • Diana Lynne Stogsdill

    i had tkr 1 month ago had145 flexioncould pull my knee almost to my butt with pain, but now when i try to do that exercise i have searing pain behind my knee aand can hardly straighten knee what is going on, i feel like im going backwards