At Orthopedic Specialists, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in joint replacement surgery (also known as total joint arthroplasty). Orthopedic Specialists has been performing joint replacement surgery for nearly ten years. That means your joint surgery will be performed by a team whose experience is virtually unmatched in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and throughout the Midwest.
Total Hip Replacement (Total Hip Arthroplasty)
The hip joint is a “ball and socket” joint that can wear out over time, causing pain and restricting movement. Total hip arthroplasty involves removing the upper section of the thigh bone (femur) and replacing it with a metal prosthesis. The ball at the end of the prosthesis is then fitted into a replacement socket installed in the hip. The socket is also typically made from metal, such as titanium, and is lined with a synthetic material that reduces friction. This allows the joint to move freely, which reduces pain and increases the patient’s range of motion.
Total Knee Replacement (Total Knee Arthroplasty)
The knee is a “hinge” joint that connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The largest joint in the body, the knee can become damaged over time due to arthritis or injury, causing severe pain and restricting everyday activities such as walking or climbing stairs. Total knee arthroplasty (knee replacement surgery) involves replacing the joint ends of the femur and the tibia with prostheses consisting of surgical metal and plastic. Once the new joint has healed, the patient is typically able to resume normal activity with little or no pain.
Total Shoulder Replacement (Total Shoulder Arthroplasty)
The shoulder is a “ball and socket” joint consisting of the upper arm bone (humerus) and a shallow indentation in the shoulder blade (scapula). It’s this shallowness that permits a great range of motion but also makes it easy to dislocate. As with any joint, the shoulder can become painful and its motion restricted through disease, trauma, or overuse. Though typically less common than total hip or knee replacement, total shoulder arthroplasty can be just as successful at relieving pain and restoring motion. In a traditional total shoulder arthroplasty, the upper “ball” end of the humerus is replaced with a polished metal prosthesis and the “socket” surface in the scapula is replaced with surgical plastic. This permits the joint to operate smoothly, allowing the patient to resume daily activities with little or no pain after the surgery has fully healed.
Total joint arthroplasty is a major surgical procedure that requires the patient to be under general anesthesia. This means you won’t be awake for your surgery and will therefore feel no pain. Because joint replacement surgery typically involves cutting through major muscles to access the joint, the patient typically has to undergo a recuperation process involving follow-up care and physical therapy that may last up to six weeks or more, depending on the joint involved and the patient’s particular situation.
To learn more about what to expect when you undergo total joint replacement surgery, please visit our Surgery Preparation/Recovery page.