Joint Replacement: Myths and Truths
Hip and knee replacements are major surgeries that have been performed for decades. The surgical experience is now markedly different from what it was decades ago, and advancements continue to be made. We will address some myths (and truths) about joint replacement surgery. This is the first in a series of two posts.
Myth: I will go to a nursing facility after my joint replacement surgery.
Truth: Most people go home after modern joint replacement surgery. It is the rare person that requires a nursing facility. This is due to a rapid recovery protocol that includes pre-operative education, better pain control, early rehabilitation, and improved blood management. In fact, some people are able to go home within 23 hours from surgery, and most people are able to go home within 48 hours.
Myth: I need to donate blood before surgery.
Truth: You do not have to donate blood before joint replacement surgery. This was a practice in yester years when surgery involved a high likelihood of requiring blood transfusions, but modern joint replacement involves enhanced blood management protocols to include use of medications that decrease the risk of transfusion. As such, the typical person undergoing a routine primary joint replacement with a normal blood count prior to surgery is unlikely to require a blood transfusion.
Myth: I need a CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine after my knee replacement.
Truth: You do not need a CPM machine. It is no longer common practice to require a machine that bends your knee when just lying in bed. There is no increase in motion with its use in the typical patient. In fact, there might be an increase in pain after surgery with the use of a CPM machine.
Myth: I just want my joint replacement to walk because I won’t be able to exercise anymore.
Truth: You will be able to exercise. However, it is true that high impact activities are not recommended following hip or knee joint replacement surgery. Playing golf, doubles tennis, hiking are activities that one can return to after joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Oluwaseun Akinbo M.D. is an orthopedic surgeon at HaysMed. For more information, check www.haysmed.com/oluwaseun-akinbo