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Does Hip or Knee Pain Affect Your Daily Life?


August 31, 2022 Posted in: Orthopedic Care

 

Severe joint pain in the knees and hips can take a heavy toll on your life, but it doesn’t have to. Joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective solution that has given millions of people the freedom to move and enjoy their favorite activities again.

Fortunately, residents of central and eastern Kentucky don’t have to travel far to receive the highest level of care. The board-certified orthopedic surgeons at CHI Saint Joseph Health are specially skilled in using the most up-to-date technology to perform advanced hip and knee replacements.

“We’re proud that Saint Joseph London has been recognized as a center of excellence for advanced total hip and knee replacement by The Joint Commission,” said Jean-Maurice Page, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Saint Joseph London. “To get this certification, a facility has to prove that they have excellent care, fewer complications and infections, and quicker rehab. Those are things that patients look for, and that’s what we do.”

Saint Joseph London and Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington are also Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Distinction Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement, so you can feel confident knowing you will receive exceptional care at CHI Saint Joseph Health.

Why Choose Joint Replacement?

Arthritis, injuries and other conditions that affect the joints can cause severe joint pain.

“There are many reasons why joint replacement might be a good option,” Dr. Page said. “For hips and knees, arthritis is the most common condition that leads to joint replacement. But patients with fractures or injuries that don’t heal properly can also benefit from hip or knee replacement.”

Dr. Beliveau

Patrice Beliveau, MD, orthopedic surgeon and chief of staff at Saint Joseph London

If you experience pain and stiffness that affect your daily activities, inability to move the joint certain ways, or pain that doesn’t improve with over-the-counter pain relief, see an orthopedic surgeon who can determine the cause of your symptoms and discuss your options, such as a partial or total joint replacement, joint repair or joint reconstruction.

"Some people worry they are too old for joint replacement surgery, but this type of surgery benefits older people – it gives them their mobility and independence back."

If you decide to have a joint replacement, Patrice Beliveau, MD, orthopedic surgeon and chief of staff at Saint Joseph London, said all patients must be evaluated to ensure they are healthy enough to have the surgery.

“Patients with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, must have the condition well controlled before surgery,” Dr. Beliveau said. 

“If a patient has a body mass index over 40, they may need to lose weight first. We also have patients see a cardiologist to ensure their heart is in good condition.”

Surgical Excellence

During a knee or hip replacement, the surgeon removes all or part of the damaged joint and cartilage and replaces it with a state-of-the-art artificial joint. This can be done through different types of procedures, including advanced, minimally invasive surgery.

"We do everything we can to minimize risk and achieve good outcomes."

For example, the direct anterior total hip replacement allows the surgeon to replace the joint through a smaller incision in the front, which avoids causing damage to muscles and tendons. This type of procedure results in less pain and scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and easier, faster recovery, with less risk of complications.

“We use 3D, computer-guided navigation systems, which greatly increase precision,” said James R. Rollins, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Saint Joseph Mount Sterling and Saint Joseph East in Lexington. “The artificial joint then lasts a lot longer.”

Dr. Page

Jean-Maurice Page, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Saint Joseph London

No matter which location you visit for a hip or knee procedure, the experienced team of orthopedic providers will support you throughout your journey.

“We have a compassionate team that cares about our patients,” Dr. Rollins said. “Most of us have been doing this for a long time, and we want to help people have a better quality of life.”

The Joint Academy: Preparing for Your New Joint

Before having joint replacement surgery, patients at CHI Saint Joseph Health enroll in the Joint Academy, which helps them get ready before and after surgery.

“It’s an educational class designed to help patients prepare for their surgery,” said Liz Lyons, BSN, RN, CRRN, ONC, OMS, orthopedic nurse navigator at Saint Joseph Hospital. “An orthopedic nurse navigator, occupational therapist and physical therapist share information that helps our patients and their caregivers know what to expect every step of the way.”

The two-hour online class includes:

  • Pre-op exercises and home care planning
  • What to expect while in the hospital directly after surgery
  • How to have a successful recovery, including nutritional needs and physical therapy

 

“The timeframe for recovery varies with each person, but most are able to walk and do basic tasks soon after surgery,” Lyons said. “Patients typically return to their regular functional activity within 4-6 weeks. At the same time, studies show that improvements can be made for 12-18 months postoperatively.”

Your personal nurse navigator is there to assist you every step of the way, answering your questions and helping to coordinate all aspects of your care before and after surgery.

“It’s rewarding to walk with patients on a journey to ‘get their lives back,’” Lyons said. “This surgery is a path toward being able to do the things they haven’t been able to do.”


A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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