Total joint replacement surgery is a specialty at St. Charles Hospital. In fact, more total joint replacement surgeries are performed at St. Charles than any other hospital in Suffolk County with a total of 760 surgeries performed in 2006. Joint replacement surgery is considered only after other treatment options have failed to provide relief from pain. The most common joint replacement surgeries are of the hip and knee however ankle, elbow and shoulder are performed as well.
Preparing for joint replacement surgery:
St. Charles Hospital is proud to offer the services of a Clinical Nurse Educator. The nurse educator will contact you shortly after your surgeon recommends you for joint replacement surgery and will remain your contact person throughout the process. You will be asked to attend a Joint Replacement Patient Education Class at St. Charles prior to surgery. At this class you will be provided with a Patient Guide to Joint Replacement Surgery, an overview of the pre-operative process and what to expect during and after surgery. St. Charles Hospital's nurse educator will be available to assist you at any time throughout your pre and post surgery process.
Total hip replacement surgery involves removing the diseased and damaged part of the hip joint and replacing it with an implant. This implant, known as a hip prosthesis, is made of metal and plastic and consists of a metal ball component and a plastic socket component.
In total knee surgery the damaged and painful areas of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (lower leg bone) are removed. A prosthesis, made of specially designed metal and plastic, replaces the damaged bone.
Immediately after leaving the operating room you will be brought to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). In the PACU you will be connected to state-of-the-art monitoring equipment. PACU nurses then incorporate a high level of physical assessment of the patient to determine a readiness to be transferred to a room. Nurses monitor PACU patients for pain control, orientation to the environment and stabilization of vital signs.
Physical therapy begins very soon after your surgery. St. Charles Hospital's expert physical therapists assess and develop an individualized rehabilitation program for each patient. Patients with total joint replacement use an assistive device in the weeks immediately following surgery. Physical therapists educate patients on the use of an assistive device as well as exercises to strengthen muscles and increase range of motion.
Once discharged from the hospital, usually after a stay of several days, you will receive physical therapy at home or through one of the hospital's nine outpatient satellite facilities.