Posts

Minimally Invasive Joint Replacement Surgeries

More than one million Americans – the majority of whom are 50 or older – choose to undergo joint replacement (or arthroplasty) each year. Arthroplasty restores the integrity of your joints and improves function using an artificial joint, or prosthesis.

However, if the prospect of enduring traditional surgery to replace a hip or knee fills you with dread, you’ll be relieved to know there is an excellent alternative: minimally invasive joint replacement.

Although traditional surgery is still a popular option among many patients, minimally invasive techniques are rapidly becoming the norm for those looking for a faster and less painful recovery.

What Makes Surgery Minimally Invasive?

With traditional (fully invasive) joint replacement surgery, orthopedic surgeons make large incisions that cut through muscles, tendons, and ligaments as a means of reaching and replacing the affected joints. That results in more bleeding, more post-operative pain that needs to be managed, more vulnerability to infection, a longer scar, and a longer recovery period before the patient regains a full range of motion.

In fact, most of the pain and dysfunction after traditional joint replacement surgery is due to these large incisions, not due to the manipulation and replacement of the bones themselves. As a result, patients need to stay in the hospital for several days and then take several weeks off from work to recuperate.

With minimally invasive joint replacement surgery, orthopedic surgeons make smaller incisions, minimize muscular detachment, and cut through less tissue during the procedure. As a result, there is much less overall trauma to the body, and the recovery period is significantly shorter.

Also, physical therapy is easier after minimally invasive surgery, because it usually doesn’t involve rehabilitating organs that have been severed.

Does Minimally Invasive Surgery Work as Well as Regular Surgery?

A major advantage of minimally invasive joint replacement is that it can be performed on an outpatient basis. Your surgery can be performed early in the morning, and you can conceivably be back home that very afternoon.

Plus, in the case of knee and hip replacement surgery, you could be walking with a cane immediately following the surgery. This means you can recover more quickly than with traditional invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive joint replacement surgery represents a dramatic improvement in surgical techniques. Higher-quality materials from which implants are made have led to a growing number of patients achieving optimum outcomes after hip and knee replacements – and with a reduced rate of post-surgical infection or other complications.

Combined with physical therapy, minimally invasive joint replacement surgery alleviates the stiffness and pain associated with severe arthritis, and it allows for more complete range of motion – thereby enabling your body to operate naturally again.

Types of Successful Surgical Procedures

At the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence in Colorado Springs, we utilize the most advanced surgical methods available today – including minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. Some of the joint replacement surgeries and procedures we perform at our medical clinic include:

Who Can Help with My Joint Pain?

If you’ve sustained an injury or have a degenerative condition that requires joint replacement, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons will diagnose the condition, explain your treatment options, and implement the procedure you and your surgeon decide upon.

Call us at (719) 623-1050 today for an appointment, or fill out our online consultation request form now. We look forward to helping you get back to the active lifestyle you’ve always enjoyed.

Orthopedic Tests for Hip and Pelvic Problems

Pain of the hip and pelvic area is one of the most frequent types of joint pain seen by orthopedic doctors. Pain in this area can have many causes, and it can be disabling for athletes as well as less active people.

A survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that about 7 percent of Americans experience some degree of hip pain or stiffness.

How Is My Hip Pain Diagnosed?

Following are some of the tests that are regularly used by orthopedists to determine the specific condition causing pain in the hip and pelvic area:

Initial Exam and Tests 

Your doctor will begin by asking about your symptoms, the time they started, and any possible accidents or diseases you might have experienced. Next, your doctor will test your posture and gait, with you in both standing and seated positions. Measurements of your leg bones may also be taken by the doctor. 

Imaging Tests 

Imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI, may be the next step your doctor might suggest to determine the cause of your pain. A more specific test called an MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) uses a contrast dye to look at your hip joints in high detail.

Lab Tests

Orthopedists also use laboratory tests to help determine issues that cause pain and stiffness. A blood test can show, for example, the presence of an antibody that may cause a type of arthritis.

Blood tests can also help find Lyme disease and lupus, both of which may affect your hips. In addition, your doctor may draw a small amount of fluid from your hip joints to confirm a diagnosis of gout or a bacterial infection.

Manual Tests 

Special manual tests or maneuvers are also part of the process to determine the cause of your hip or pelvic pain. Over the past several decades, orthopedists have developed more than a dozen of these hands-on tests.

During these mechanical tests, your doctor will ask you to sit, stand, or lie down with your body in different positions, and to make a series of movements. Your doctor will observe your performance during these tests to help in the diagnosis. 

These hands-on procedures include the following: 

·      Pelvic Rocking Test – This is used to check joint stability in the hip. A limited range of motion or pain during this test may suggest an injury or a possible infection.

·      Trendelenburg Sign – This test looks for weakness in the abductor muscles of the hips, such as the gluteus. The abductor muscles help draw your legs away from your body in activities such as walking or running.

·      Telescoping Test – This test looks for possible hip dislocation, where the head of your upper leg bone (femur) moves out of the socket where it normally sits.

Hip Surgeons in Colorado Springs

If you are experiencing hip and pelvic pain or stiffness, or other issues with your joints or muscles, we are here to help. Our team of physicians at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence are experts in sports medicine and joint injuries, and we can evaluate, implement, and monitor the most effective treatments.

For outstanding orthopedic treatment, schedule a consultation by calling our Colorado Springs office today at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment here. We look forward to helping you live a more pain-free lifestyle so you can get back in the game.

Recovering from My Broken Hip

Getting a broken hip is like slamming the brake pedal on your life. The recovery process may take months and will likely require making accommodations in your plans. While recovering from a broken hip can take a while, there are many things you can do to make the recovery period go well. 

Whether it’s due to an accident, sports injury, or another reason, a surgery will most likely be necessary to fix a broken hip. There are a few types of hip surgeries that are performed to fix hip fractures. Whether it’s an internal repair, partial hip replacement, or a total hip replacement, your surgeon will be the best person to determine which type of surgery is best for your situation.

How to Make the Recovery Period After Hip Surgery Go Well

Preparing Your Home – After your hip surgery, your ability to physically move as you used to will be limited. During the recovery period, you will need to make accommodations in your home so that you can limit the number of obstacles that may get in the way of your daily activities. For example, make sure to have the right tools available to you for getting around the house. Ask your surgeon if you need a walking cane, crutches, or a walker to reduce pressure on the hip. In addition, you may have to make sure you don’t climb stairs during your recovery while your body heals. If you live in a multistory home, you may have to make temporary adjustments to your home while you recover, such as setting up sleeping arrangements on the first floor if you typically sleep on the second floor. Another example is making sure you have a bathing chair set up in your tub for showering. Your surgeon will be able to tell you exactly what accommodations you need to make and what supplies you will need to make sure your recovery period goes well.

Physical Therapy – Once your broken hip begins to heal, your surgeon will likely recommend physical therapy. Your body will need to get used to functioning the way it’s supposed to. Physical therapy allows you to get your hip to practice natural movements so the joint motions and strength can be revived. Make sure to follow your physical therapy instructions exactly as your surgeon and physical therapist suggest so that your broken hip recovery goes well.   

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle – Finally, make sure you maintain a healthy diet during your recovery from hip surgery. Although a healthy diet is important regardless, during recovery your body needs the right nutrients to adequately recover. Make sure to stay away from foods high in sugars, trans fats, and salts. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables that provide the right type of fuel to your body while it heals. Also, make sure to stay away from alcohol as it interferes with a lot of medications. Smoking slows down the healing process and can make your hip recovery period last longer than it should. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are really important to your hip recovery. Make sure to talk to your surgeon about what you can do to improve your lifestyle while you are healing from your broken hip.

The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence would love to help you recover from the musculoskeletal issue you are experiencing. Call (719) 623-1050 today to make an appointment with one of our highly trained doctors.