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Joint Replacement

Preservation, Replacement or Revision?

Stable, healthy joints permit patients to pursue active lives without pain or functional limitations. Unfortunately, injuries or gradual deterioration of the joints may end an athletic career or significantly limit participation in recreational or work activities and can cause severe joint pain and discomfort. After proper diagnosis, joint replacement may be recommended for pain relief. A patient experiencing joint line knee pain with swelling and reduced range of motion may be a candidate for total knee replacement, while a patient experiencing groin pain, difficulty lifting his or her leg, and poor motion may be a candidate for a total hip replacement.

Severe joint pain is the most common reason patients undergo a joint replacement procedure. Whether your pain is a result of an old injury; a degenerative condition like arthritis or osteoarthritis; or fracture; joint replacement procedures may be the recommended treatment option.

Diagnosis begins with an examination and often an X-ray. If the X-ray reveals moderate to severe arthritis with joint space narrowing, bone spurs, subchondral sclerosis, and subchondral cysts are observed, an MRI is not typically necessary. MRI is useful for viewing the soft tissues that do not appear on X-rays and should be reserved for patients whose X-rays appear normal.

Joint Preservation Surgery

Joint preservation surgery may be the right choice for patients who wish to remain active, relieve pain, and preserve their own joints. These procedures include ligament reconstructions, cartilage restoration procedures, meniscal allografts, and realignment procedures for the lower extremity. Combinations of these procedures may be required depending upon specific circumstances. Our specialty-trained doctors at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists are recognized leaders in joint revision.

Joint Replacement Surgery

You may be a candidate for a joint replacement surgery if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe joint pain
  • Pain in the joint that keeps you awake at night
  • Joint discomfort that prevents you from participating in recreational activities
  • Joint pain that limits your ability to conduct necessary and daily functions, such as climbing stairs or standing up
  • You have attempted more conservative treatment methods, such as exercise or therapy, without success

Total Joint vs Partial Joint Replacement

Nearly any joint in the body can be replaced with a fully functioning artificial implant, but the most common joint replacements are of the hip, knee, or shoulder. At Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists, our joint replacement surgeons have additional training in joint replacement surgeries, including total joint replacements, osteotomies, partial replacements, and joint resurfacing procedures.

Total Joint Statistics:

  • We expect 80% of total hips and knees to be working well with no need for revision at 20 years.
  • 90-95% of total hip patients experience a good to excellent result.
  • 80-90% of total knee patients experience a good to excellent result.
  • It’s important for patients to discuss activities with their surgeon following the procedure, but most often, we encourage patients to avoid high-impact and heavy lifting activities following a total joint replacement.
  • There is no minimum or maximum age for total joint replacement, but a patient should have exhausted conservative measures and be healthy enough for surgery before it is recommended.
  • Lifelong antibiotic prophylaxis before dental work is required after joint replacement surgery and entails a single dose of oral antibiotics before all dental appointments. Previously, this was two years but has now been recommended for life.

Joint Revision Surgery

A joint revision surgery may be necessary for younger individuals who demand a lot from their joints or for patients with older implants that may have worn down significantly over time through mechanics or by friction. If the implant used in your joint replacement loosens, wears, or becomes infected, the affected joint may become swollen and painful. When this occurs, a joint revision procedure may be recommended to remove the old implant and replace it with new components. If you are suffering from severe joint pain from a previous joint replacement procedure, it may be time to consult with a joint revision surgeon:

  • Limping
  • Stiffness
  • Instability

Joint revision surgery is a complex procedure that requires an experienced and skilled surgeon, extensive preparation and the use of special implants and tools. Our joint revision surgeons at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists have undergone additional advanced training to perform joint revision replacement surgeries and will work with you to develop a treatment plan to address your individual needs.

Surgeries We Perform Include

Patient Consultation

Whether you are considering a joint replacement or are in need of a joint revision to improve an existing artificial implant, our specialty-trained doctors at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists are recognized leaders in joint replacement and joint revision. Our joint preservation surgeons, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Ellingsen, Dr. Kody, Dr. Lynch, Dr. McDonald, Dr. MulawkaDr. OlsonDr. Reichard, Dr. Wallace, and Dr. Wojcik, have the expertise and experience to help you select the treatment that is most appropriate for your specific problem and to optimize your recovery. Prior to your consultation, new patients will be asked to complete forms, which include medical history, demographic, and insurance information. This information, along with any current diagnostic imaging (X-ray, CT, MRI), will be utilized by your doctors to help with your diagnosis and treatment plan.

Why Choose Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists?

At Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists, we understand that pain in your joints can make simple, everyday tasks difficult. If you are suffering from severe joint pain, consult with a joint specialist at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists.

See a Specialist

To consult with one of our doctors, please request an appointment online, or call 888-660-2663.

Make an Appointment

Appointment Resources

Once you have scheduled your appointment, please use the link below to obtain our new patient forms and browse through our tips and preparation suggestions for your appointment. 

Preparing for My Appointment & New Patient Forms

"Hello, I am a current replacement patient of Dr. Reichard and two years ago had knee replacement surgery with Dr. Michael Kody. I chose to come back to Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists after the experience I had with the wonderful personal care Dr. Kody and his staff provided during my knee replacement surgery. During the recovery period, Dr. Kody and staff worked to ensure I got the best possible care. My recovery and current condition speak volumes about the great care I received. Now, two years later, when the need for hip replacement surgery became necessary, it was a simple matter for me to work the Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists staff to identify a surgeon for the job.  I met with Dr. Reichard and appreciated his direct explanation of my medical condition and the method he would use to relieve my hip pain. That procedure is now complete and I am on my way toward a complete recovery." — David S.