Joint Replacement: Take the Steps Today to Improve Your Quality of Life
South Central Orthopedics | 1002 Jefferson Street, Suite 350, in Laurel
In the United States, over 700,000 knee replacements are performed each year. For those who live with arthritis, pain relief can come from non-operative treatments such as medications, injections, physical therapy and lifestyle changes. However, when these treatments no longer stop the pain, joint replacement is recommended. Jeff Burns, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon at South Central Orthopedics meets with many patients who decide to make an improvement in their quality of life.
Jeff Burns, MD
South Central Orthopedics
Dr. Burns states, “Most people that receive a hip or knee replacement are people who are living with painful arthritis. In the early stages, patients often state that it is not very painful and they can change some of their activities to get by. However, as time goes by the arthritis gets worse, treatments using medications do not work, and sometimes injections can help for a short period. Eventually, the arthritis becomes more severe, more painful, and then it starts to limit a person’s activities.”
When a patient cannot complete daily living activities without pain, they will generally express and interest in having surgery. Arthritic patients have surgery because the cartilage between bones in the knee has worn away, often creating painful bone-on-bone interaction. Despite many people’s fear of surgery, the majority of patients are pain-free after surgery, which can lead to a huge boost in quality of life.
The process of a joint replacement has become more streamlined over time. The typical time for a patient to remain in the hospital is two to three days. Patients and their caregivers who receive treatment at South Central Regional Medical Center participate in Joint Camp, an educational program for joint replacement patients to experience faster healing and recovery.
“Knowing what to expect up front is key to recovery,” said Dr. Burns. South Central Joint Camp provides a comprehensive manual for patients to use prior to surgery and post-operatively to assist with any questions they may have. The program also offers pre-habilitation sessions at the medical center to help expedite the patient’s flow through the process.
“For those who have had a joint replacement procedure, it is critical to begin rehabilitation shortly after surgery. Scar tissue can build up around the joint if the joint is idle. This can have a major impact on recovery,” Dr. Burns said. “So, we have our patients get up as soon as we can and begin to move that joint to help the patient improve their quality of life.”
South Central Orthopedics works with South Central’s Rehabilitation team to ensure patients begin the appropriate therapy process following the surgery.
“Following a replacement, we aim to eliminate a person’s pain completely; if not, then significantly reduce it,” said Dr. Burns. “Our therapy teams individualize the recovery process so that the joint has good mobility and that it is going to function well for the patient. Ultimately, our job is complete when a patient returns for a post-operative visit and states they are doing great. It is a wonderful feeling.”
Dr. Burns is an Orthopedic Surgeon at South Central Orthopedics in Laurel. If you are experiencing knee pain or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Burns, please call South Central Orthopedics at 601-649-5990. South Central Orthopaedics is located at 1002 Jefferson Street, Suite 350, in Laurel. The facility accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance plans. To learn more, visit scrmc.com.