Are you or someone you know considering hip or knee replacement after living with pain for an extended time? Whether you have just begun exploring treatment options or have decided to undergo hip or knee replacement surgery, we answered some questions that may be helpful about the procedure and recovery time.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our live chat on Tuesday, December 13 at 12 PM EST with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Bradbury of Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center where he answered questions about hip and knee replacements, new treatment options, recovery and more. We received a lot of great questions, and below are some of the highlights from this live chat. Read the full chat transcript here.
Question: Will I need physical therapy about a knee replacement?
Dr. Bradbury: Yes, physical therapy is much more important after knee replacement than after hip replacement. In general, the physical therapist will first help you achieve range of motion and then work on strengthening. Most people require supervised physical therapy for several weeks after surgery. After that point, they can do many of the exercises on their own.
Question: How soon will I be able to walk after a hip replacement?
Dr. Bradbury: Our goal is to have you walking within 3 hours of surgery. Early mobilization after hip replacement surgery is helpful to avoid complications like blood clots in the leg or in the lung. In general, a physical therapist will help you get out of bed and walk for the first several times. Once you demonstrate safety when walking with the therapist, you will be able to walk on your own. Most people require crutches or a walker for a period of time after surgery. Once you feel confident, you can begin walking without an assistive device.
Question: Are there different types of knee replacements?
Dr. Bradbury: Yes. Just like with cars, there are hundreds of different models. Your surgeon can explain the pros and cons of different types of replacement systems. However, the surgical technique used to implant the device is more important than the device itself.
Thank you again too all of our participants! View the full chat transcript and learn more about hip and knee replacements below.