Things To Know About Total And Partial Hip And Knee Replacement Surgery


Joint replacement operations for the hip and knee have become relatively common. Wear and tear over the years causes osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. Depending on the orthopedist's recommendation, patients may undergo either partial or total knee or hip replacement surgery.

About Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is prevalent in older men and women and may cause a certain level of disability. The disease is prevalent among senior citizens, but it can begin at a much earlier age. Arthritis can develop after an injury or because of genetics. Some individuals need knee or hip replacement well before they reach the senior years. 

Relevant Statistics

Surgeons perform more than 450,000 total hip replacement operations annually in the United States. They provide total knee replacement for about 600,000 patients each year. Total and partial joint replacement has allowed a large number of individuals to experience relief from chronic pain and return to a more active lifestyle.

About the Surgeries

During a partial hip operation, the surgeon only replaces the femoral head, which is the top of the thighbone. This ball-shaped part of the bone fits into the socket of the hipbone. If the operation is for the entire hip joint, it involves the socket as well. A partial knee operation can be performed when only some of the joint has been damaged by arthritis.


Patients normally stay in the hospital two or three days after these operations, although it varies. Orthopedists want patients to be standing up and using a walker after a day or two. They must be walking a certain distance with assistance before being discharged. 

Most can switch to crutches fairly quickly. Within a month, patients should be walking on their own and able to climb a limited number of stairs. The orthopedist clears patients for driving after healing has progressed to a certain point. This is an important issue for many people.

Some individuals choose to stay at a rehabilitation facility for at least a few days or a week afterward. Most, however, feel able to go home. 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an integral part of the healing process, allowing patients to recover as fully and rapidly as possible. Some only need a few weeks of sessions, while others require several months. Outside of the sessions, patients must follow a program of exercise prescribed by the therapist.

Concluding Thoughts

These operations are safe and very effective. Although people generally do not want to have surgery, they feel much better after recovery than before the operation. Being able to do enjoyable activities they had previously given up is rewarding.


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