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Joint Reconstruction: What You Need to Know


If you are considering or have been recommended for joint reconstruction surgery, you may have a lot of questions. This guide will help you understand the basics of joint reconstruction surgery and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.


Joint reconstruction surgery is also known as joint replacement surgery. It is a type of orthopedic surgery that is performed to relieve pain and restore function to a damaged joint. Joint reconstruction surgery is most commonly performed on joints in the hip, knee, shoulder, or elbow.


During joint reconstruction surgery, the damaged parts of the joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts (called prostheses). The aim of the surgery is to relieve pain, restore function, and improve quality of life.


Joint reconstruction surgery is usually only considered when other treatment options, such as medication, changes in lifestyle or activity, or physical therapy, have failed to relieve pain or improve function.


What Happens During Joint Reconstruction Surgery?

During your joint reconstruction surgery, you will be given a general anesthetic to keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure.


The first step is to make an incision over the joint that is being replaced. The length of the incision will depend on which joint is being replaced as well as the approach used by your surgeon. Once the incision is made, your surgeon will detach the muscles and tendons around the joint so that they can access the bones.


Next, your surgeon will remove the damaged ends of the bones and prepare them for the insertion of the prostheses. The surfaces of the bones may be roughened to promote better bonding with the prostheses. Once the prosthesis is in place, it will be checked for fit and alignment.


Muscles and tendons are then reattached to their original location and the incision is closed with stitches or staples. A drain may also be placed under your skin to help remove any excess fluid during your recovery period.


Your surgeon will then apply a dressing to your incision site and you will be taken to the recovery room where you will be closely monitored until you wake up from anesthesia.


After Joint Reconstruction Surgery

Most people stay in the hospital for 2-5 days after their joint reconstruction surgery but this will depend on how well you recover from anesthesia and how much pain you are in after surgery.

You can expect some swelling and bruising around your incision site which can be controlled with ice and elevation. You will also have some drainage from your incision site which should decrease over time. It is important to keep your wound clean and dry to prevent infection. Your stitches or staples will be removed about 7-10 days after surgery.


You will most likely receive physical therapy about 6 weeks after discharge from rehabilitation (or sooner if you are able). You may continue outpatient physical therapy for an additional 2-3 months if recommended by your surgeon or physical therapist. . When you decide to put your health into our hands, it immediately becomes our number one priority. We value the relationships we form with each patient, and believe that goes a long way in improving their health care outcomes. Give us a call to find out how I can help you today.

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