Posts Tagged ‘hip replacement’

Takeaways from Dr. Bradbury’s Hip and Knee Replacements Chat

Thank you for participating in the online chat on Hip and Knee Replacements.  We had a lot of really great questions.  We received a few questions a couple times so we will highlight the answers to those questions here!

What is the longevity of knee replacements?

The lifespan of a knee replacement is related to the body weight and activity level of the individual who receives the replacement.  Individuals who are very active often reduce the longevity of their knee replacement because high activity can put extra stress on the implant leading to loosening of the implants from the bone or “wearing” of the parts used to replace the joint.  Being overweight increases the forces on implant and can also lead to early failure.  In general, 15 year survivorship of modern knee replacement designs used in  good candidate is around 90 percent.

Typically for younger patients,  if x-rays do not show complete loss of cartilage, “bone on bone”, I recommend waiting as long as possible to have the knee replacement surgery.  However, if there is “bone on bone” arthritis, knee replacement is the most effective treatment, but the risks of early failure are increased.

What exercises can I do for a total knee replacement?

Low impact aerobic conditioning 4-5 times per week for 4-6 weeks prior to surgery is best.  Low impact activities include swimming, elliptical, or stationary  bike.

“Prehabilitation” is rehabilitation to get your body ready for the surgery so you can recovery as quickly as possible after surgery.  Instruction during this period should be focused on strengthening the muscles around the joint.  The prehabilitation period should last for several weeks before surgery.

How long is recovery after hip/knee replacement?

It is best to think of how long it takes to reach recovery milestones -

• For hip replacement, pain is typically better than what it was prior to surgery in 2-3 weeks, normal walking typically occurs by 6-8 weeks and full recovery typically occurs within 3-4 months.

• For knee replacement, pain is typically better than what it was prior to surgery by 4-6 weeks, normal walking typically occurs by 8-10 weeks and full recovery typically occurs within 4-5 months.

Thank you again for attending the chat. I hope you found the information useful!  If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with an Emory Orthopedic Surgeon about hip or knee replacements please call 404-778-7777.

>>Read the full transcript from the online chat here!<<

About Dr. Bradbury

Dr. Bradbury is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory. He specializes in hip and knee arthroplasty. He really enjoys this area of orthopaedic surgery because of the consistency of success in the properly selected patient. Dr. Bradbury’s professional goal is the improvement in quality of life for patients with pain secondary to hip and knee problems.

His research interests center around infections involving hip and knee replacements which are rare, but difficult problems. Dr. Bradbury is researching the success rate of current treatment methods for hip and knee replacement infections caused by resistant bacteria (MRSA). Through his research, he hopes to find better way to both prevent and treat periprosthetic hip and knee infections.

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Learn all about Hip or Knee Replacements

The decision to get a hip or knee replaced is a difficult one for many patients.  Hip and knee replacements are typically advised only when all other options have not worked for you.  If you are considering a hip or knee replacement or already have had one and want to speak to a physician, join Emory Orthopedic Surgeon, Thomas Bradbury, MD on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at noon for an online web chat on Hip and Knee Replacements.  He will be available to answer questions such as:

• What are hip and knee replacements?
• Why have the surgery?
• 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?
• What is the recovery after a hip or knee replacement?
• What types of exercise are suitable for someone with hip or knee replacements
• What kind of outcome can you expect?

Come prepared to ask your questions and learn more about your options!

CHAT TRANSCRIPT

About Dr. Bradbury

Thomas Bradbury, MD

Dr. Bradbury is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Emory.  He specializes in hip and knee arthroplasty.  He really enjoys this area of orthopaedic surgery because of the consistency of success in the properly selected patient. Dr. Bradbury’s professional goal is the improvement in quality of life for patients with pain secondary to hip and knee problems.

His research interests center around infections involving hip and knee replacements which are rare, but difficult problems. Dr. Bradbury is researching the success rate of current treatment methods for hip and knee replacement infections caused by resistant bacteria (MRSA). Through his research, he hopes to find better way to both prevent and treat periprosthetic hip and knee infections.

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Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery Gets Patients Active Faster – A Patient Story

Thomas Bradbury, MDWhen I first met Mark Putnam, he had chronic pain in his right groin and lower back caused by osteoarthritis of the hip. At 49, Mark felt twice his age. His local orthopedic surgeon was uncomfortable performing surgery because of the extent of the damage to the joint and instead referred Mark to the Emory Orthpaedics & Spine Center.

Mark needed a total hip replacement, and I knew he would be an excellent candidate for anterior total hip arthroplasty, an Emory-pioneered minimally invasive surgery that involved a new approach to the hip joint. Hip arthroplasty traditionally is performed through the posterior, or back, of the hip. This means the surgeon has to remove muscle and ligaments from the bone in order to reach the affected area. Because it takes a while for the tissues to heal after posterior total hip arthroplasty, the range of motion the hip can have for the first couple of months is restricted to prevent dislocation.

Anterior total hip arthroplasty has changed the way we perform hip replacement surgery at Emory. During the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon enters the front of the hip, as opposed to the back, via a single, very short incision to the patient’s leg. Because the surgeon can expose the hip without removing as much muscle and ligament from the bones around the hip joint, the patient retains a better range of motion in the hip and has greater hip stability following surgery.

While anterior total hip arthroplasty takes longer than traditional posterior surgery, the quick recovery time more than makes up for it. After surgery, Mark was pain free for the first time in years.

“It’s been terrific,” he said. “I was out the other day playing catch with my son, and I got down in a catcher’s squat and it didn’t even affect me.”

I encourage you to read up on the details of Mark’s total hip arthroplasty, and watch a video on Mark’s journey. Have you had anterior total hip arthroplasty? We’d like to hear about your experience. Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below.

About Thomas Bradbury, MD

Thomas Bradbury, MD, is an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery. He holds clinic at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center at Executive Park and performs surgery at Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital (EUOSH). Dr. Bradbury’s professional goal is the improvement in quality of life for patients with pain secondary to hip and knee problems. He started practicing at Emory in 2007.

New Biomaterials Mean Fewer Hip and Knee Replacement Reoperations

James Roberson, MDIn Emory Orthopaedics, we perform hundreds of hip and knee replacement operations every year. Most of these operations are highly successful, but occasionally, a reoperation is necessary. In these cases, it’s usually because the materials originally used in the knee or hip have worn down over time.

At Emory, we’ve been testing new and improved biomaterials for use in hip and knee replacements for more than a decade, and we’ve found that a new generation of biomaterials is making a significant difference in the longevity of these replacements. This means fewer patients will need reoperations down the road.

The failure rate in a knee replacement operation is directly related to how fast the knee wears, which is affected by how well the knee was put in, the patient’s activity level, the patient’s weight, and the wear resistant properties of the materials used. Think of the tires on a car. The stronger the tire material, the longer it lasts. What if, instead of getting 30,000 miles on a set of tires, you could get 100,000 miles? In essence, that order of magnitude difference is similar to the improved wear resistance of new biomaterials used in hip and knee replacement.

I’ve been using alternative bearing surface materials in hip replacements for about 12 years, starting with metal on metal, then ceramic on ceramic, and now highly cross-linked polyethylene. All three materials have dramatically improved wear resistance and have worked very well for several thousand patients, with no measurable wear on any patient visible through x-rays. But while metal on metal and ceramic on ceramic are useful in hip replacements, they aren’t an option in knee replacements. Until recently, this was also true of cross-linked polyethylene. However, the more recent second generation techniques for cross-linking now make this a viable option for knee replacement also.

Polyethylene, simply put, is a plastic formed from long molecular chains made of carbon and hydrogen atoms linked together. Prior to cross-linking manufacturing techniques, these molecular chains consisted of carbon atoms linked to other carbon atoms in single long chains with the remainder of the molecular bonding sites filled with hydrogen atoms. On a molecular level, cross-linking simply means that the single chains now are cross bonded together to, in essence, create a woven structure. This results in a material that looks identical but is actually a more wear-resistant form of plastic.

Over the past three to five years, we’ve performed approximately 1,000 knee replacement surgeries using cross-linked polyethylene. While all three materials—metal, ceramic, and polyethylene—appear to perform fairly evenly in hip replacement surgery, cross-linked polyethylene is less expensive than ceramic on ceramic. Although the individual patient does not experience a cost difference, this is a benefit to the industry as a whole. Our goal is to develop improved materials that will result in better outcomes and be cost-effective.

If you’re having knee or hip surgery, you can trust your doctor to choose the most effective material for you. Regardless of whether it’s metal on metal, ceramic on ceramic, or cross-linked polyethylene, with all of these new biomaterials, we are cautiously optimistic that wear may no longer be a problem.

Have you had or are you going to have hip or knee replacement surgery? Have you had experience with any of the new biomaterials? We’d like to hear from you. Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below.

About James R. Roberson, MD:

James R. Roberson, MD, chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics and professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, specializes in treating hip and knee arthritis and has performed more than 10,000 hip and knee replacements over the course of his career. Dr. Roberson has practiced at Emory since 1982.