Posts Tagged ‘hip replacement’

Quality of Life Seminar: Latest Advances in Hip & Knee Replacement

Dr. Sauer will discuss the latest advancements in hip and knee replacement in a Quality of Life Seminar at the Timbers of Shorewood retirement community. Paul A. Sauer, M.D., will present a program titled “Latest Advances in Hip & Knee Replacement” at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at The Timbers of Shorewood retirement community, 1100 N. River Rd., Shorewood. Attendees will learn the available options for the treatment of joint pain before replacements should be considered and what a total joint replacement involves.

More than 32 million people suffer from arthritis making it the main reason for joint replacement. Pain and a decreased quality of life because of osteoarthritis in the knees and hips have resulted in these being the two most common joints replaced in seniors.

In fact, seniors with osteoarthritis who undergo total joint replacement are twice as likely as those who do not, to show improvements in physical functioning and an increased ability to care for themselves, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Currently, about 3 million joint replacements are performed annually, but by the year 2030, that number is expected to increase three-fold. New developments and advanced technologies are helping doctors achieve greater success with less pain and a shortened recovery time.

Since the first total joint replacement in 1960, advances have been significant and continue to develop. The two newest techniques are “partial replacement” and minimally invasive surgery (MIS).

A conventional hip replacement requires a side or back incision. The newest approach now forms a smaller incision on the front of the hip, which avoids cutting into major muscles. This results in a faster recovery time and greater mobility.

A knee replacement involves the removal of the diseased or injured knee joint and the implantation of three components. The femur bone is replaced with a metal shell, the end of the lower tibia is removed and replaced with a plastic piece with a metal stem, and a plastic “button” is added to the underside of the kneecap, if necessary, so it rides smoothly on the other implant components.

Even with advances in hip and knee replacements, both are still considered major surgeries that take a toll on the body, the patient and the family. Recovery time takes months, and physical therapy is always necessary.

Dr. Sauer has been practicing at the Rezin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine center in Bolingbrook since 2008, where he is currently the vice president. He graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago in 1989 and completed an orthopedic residency program at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. He went on to complete a Joint Replacement Fellowship at Rush Medical Center in Chicago in 1995.

Dr. Sauer is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and is fellowship-trained in joint replacement, arthroplasty and revisions. His general orthopedics practice includes fracture care, joint replacements, sports medicine and hand surgery. He sub-specializes in the research and treatment of hip and knee replacements using the latest minimally invasive procedures.

The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to reserve a seat, call Shelly Goggins at 815-609-0669.


Aftercare for joint replacement vital for seniors

Whether it’s shoulder, knee or hip joint replacement, aftercare is vitally important. Early motion after joint replacement helps achieve the best possible function. And motion is typically started 48 hours post surgery.

According to University of Washington, arthritic joints are stiff. One of the major goals of total joint replacement surgery is to relieve much of this stiffness. However, following surgery, scar tissue will tend to recur and limit movement unless motion is started immediately. This early motion is facilitated by the complete surgical release of the tight tissues so that after surgery the patient has only to maintain the range of motion achieved at the operation.

All new joint patients need to have a regular exercise program to maintain their fitness and the health of the muscles around their joints. With both their orthopedic and primary care physicians’ permission, they should be on a regular exercise program 3 to 4 times per week lasting 20 to 30 minutes.

General Tips from Texas Health Resources

  • Patients should take antibiotics one hour before having dental work or other invasive procedures for their lifetime. Patients are recommended to take antibiotics before, during, and immediately after any elective procedures in order to prevent infection of the replaced joint
  • Although the risks are very low for postoperative infections, it is important to realize that the risk remains. A prosthetic join could possibly attract the bacteria from an infection located in another part of the patient’s body. A fever is reason to call the doctor.
  • Occasionally, antibiotics may be needed. Superficial scratches may be treated with topical antibiotic ointment. Patients should notify their doctor if the area becomes painful or reddened.
  • Patients are given an implant card by their surgeon that states they had a joint replacement. They should carry the card with them, as they may set off security alarms at airports, malls, etc. Also when traveling, patients should stop and change positions hourly to prevent the joint from tightening.
  • Patients should visit their surgeon yearly unless otherwise recommended. Routine initial, mid-term and long-term follow up is a valuable part of joint replacement care.

According to the Mayo Clinic, patients usually require some assistance with self-care, activities of daily living, shopping and driving for approximately six weeks after surgery. Patients usually go home after this surgery, especially if there are people at home who can provide the necessary assistance, or if such assistance can be arranged through an agency. In the absence of home support, a convalescent facility may provide a safe environment for recovery.

Recovery of comfort and function after joint replacement continues for many months after the surgery. Improvement in some activities may be evident as early as six weeks. With persistent effort, patients make progress for as long as a year after surgery.

Future activities are generally limited to those that do not risk injuring the replaced joint. Sports that involve running or contact are avoided, in favor of leisure sports, such as golf, and swimming.

Swimming is the ideal form of exercise, since the sport improves muscle strength and endurance without exerting any pressure or stress on the replaced joint.

See you at the pool!

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