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Medical Professionals

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Give Yourself The Gift Of Your Life Back Written by Fabio Orozco, MD, Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon

Have you been suffering with knee or hip arthritis and been putting it off for months or even years? Many women put off surgery because they just don’t feel they have the time or because they are the caregiver for their children, spouse or their parents. Other times we put off surgery out of fear of surgery itself or the idea that recovery will take months to heal. Today’s technology and surgical techniques have made it possible to recover in weeks rather than months. Maybe it’s time to put yourself first this season and give yourself your life back.

The Basics

Arthritis of the knee and hip joint can prevent you from performing the simplest of activities including tying your shoes, getting in and out of car, climbing stairs, and just simply walking. Arthritis is a progressive condition that overtime causes wear and tear of the cartilage. The treatment for arthritis begins with conservative treatment including exercise, physical therapy, injections, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and weight loss. These options can provide relief and prolong the need for surgery until a later time. The advanced stage of arthritis is when the cartilage is almost completely gone and there is nothing left but bone rubbing against bone causing significant discomfort, instability, and range of motion loss.

The Surgical Approach

Today’s approach to joint replacement surgery has changed dramatically over the years. Gone are the days where you spend days in the hospital and weeks in a rehabilitation center followed by intense outpatient physical therapy. Prior to surgery a CT scan is completed to create a 3D template of your entire leg to build a blueprint of your joint. These images are imported into special software that determines the appropriate size implant, precise cuts to be made, and balancing the joint. A total hip arthroplasty, or replacement consists of removing the diseased (arthritic bones) and replacing it with titanium, ceramic and polyethylene components. A direct anterior approach involves making the incision through the front of the hip. This technique minimizes tissue damage and results in less trauma and pain immediately after surgery. Preserving the muscles, maintains the hip stability resulting in minimal risk of hip dislocation and the need for restrictions after surgery. A total or partial knee replacement or arthroplasty is performed with a small incision on the side of the knee. Sparing the quadriceps muscles and tendons making up the knee joint. Preserving the surrounding tissues allows for early ambulation, a shorter recovery, less blood loss, and less intensive physical therapy following surgery.

common. Most patients are discharged home the very next day, while an increasing percentage of healthy motivated patients are going home the same day. The reason this is all possible is through a multi-disciplinary approach. From pre-operative planning to discharge, patients are evaluated for medical and social concerns, undergo peri-operative medical screening for patient optimization, educated on expectations, and evaluated prior to leaving the hospital to determine their disposition for discharge.

The Recovery and Beyond

Recovery after joint replacement requires active participation by the patient. Once the surgery is over, rehab begins, but not as rigorous as one may think. Initially after surgery, the first thing you will do is to walk. Yes, you can walk on your new joint merely hours after surgery with no restrictions on weight bearing. You will begin with a walker for stability and safety but can progress to a cane within days. Most people return to the office at two weeks and are walking with just their cane or without any assistive device. Physical therapy begins at the hospital with gentle stretching exercises and simple bending and straightening home exercises. After a total hip replacement, the only recommendation for therapy is walking throughout the day and increasing activity as tolerated. After a knee replacement, the focus is still walking, but includes actively flexing and extending the knee joint. Some patients do not require formal physical therapy due to preserving the tendons and muscles during surgery. Within weeks of joint replacement, patients can return to their previous activity level including gardening, golf, bike riding and dancing. Joint replacement surgery has dramatically improved and now may be the time to for a consultation to determine if joint replacement is right for you.

For more information contact us: 609-300-7779.

The Hospital Experience

Many patients may find that joint replacement is the first surgery they will ever experience. It can be a frightening, but today with newer techniques, advances in anesthesia and multimodal pain control methods, same day surgery is much more

Dr. Fabio Orozco is a board-certified hip and knee surgeon with over 15 years of experience. Dr. Orozco has helped over ten thousand people get their lives back through surgery. Dr. Orozco is an expert in robotic surgery and uses the latest less-invasive surgical techniques, including direct anterior hip replacement and quadriceps-sparing partial and total knee replacements. He serves as the Director of Orthopaedic Surgery at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

The County Woman Magazine www.TheCountyWoman.com

November/December 2020

Profile for The County Woman

Atlantic County Woman - November/December 2020  

The County Woman’s Newspaper is published bi-monthly in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and is available free of charge...

Atlantic County Woman - November/December 2020  

The County Woman’s Newspaper is published bi-monthly in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and is available free of charge...