Hip & Knee Replacement
Joint replacement surgery may be considered for patients with severe hip or knee arthritis that has not improved with more conservative methods, like medications, physical therapy, and activity modification. A hip or knee replacement can reduce joint pain and improve a patient’s mobility so that they can more easily participate in their normal activities.
At Southern Orthopaedic Specialists, our experienced hip and knee replacement team includes Dr. Ryan Charles, Dr. Chad Millet, Dr. Gregor Hoffman and Dr. Timothy Finney (knee replacements). Our team recommends joint replacement surgery only when they feel it is the best option for the patient.
Both hip and knee replacement procedures have been around for many decades, and have been very successful in relieving joint pain for the vast majority of patients. Recent developments in hip and knee replacement have continued to improve upon the results and recovery process for patients. Dr. Charles has had extensive training in new, cutting-edge techniques for hip and knee replacement, including direct superior hip replacement and robotic hip and knee replacements. In fact, Dr. Charles is one of the only surgeons in the New Orleans area to have specialized fellowship training in robotic joint replacements.
Candidates for Hip & Knee Replacement
It is necessary to get an evaluation with a qualified orthopedic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for hip or knee replacement surgery. However, if you are experiencing the following symptoms, we recommend scheduling an appointment:
- Pain or stiffness in the hip or knee that limits your everyday activities
- Hip or knee pain that continues even while at rest
- Limited range of motion in the hip or knee due to arthritis
- Arthritis symptoms in the hip or knee that have not improved with conservative treatments like anti-inflammatory medications, joint injections, and physical therapy
Our surgeons at Southern Orthopedic Specialists can provide an evaluation to determine whether a hip or knee replacement is the best option for you.
Advances in Hip & Knee Replacement Procedures
During hip and knee replacement procedures, the surgeon removes the damaged portions of the joint and replaces them with implants designed to mimic normal joint function. Over the years, hip and knee replacement techniques and procedures have evolved to continue to improve upon outcomes and recovery for patients.
During his fellowship training, Dr. Charles learned some of the latest techniques in hip and knee replacements, including robotic knee replacement and direct superior hip replacement. Through fellowship training, Dr. Charles gained extensive experience with these procedures before joining Southern Orthopedic Specialists.
Robotic Knee Replacement
Dr. Charles uses Mako robotic technology for both total and partial knee replacements. The benefit of this technology is that the Mako software uses a CT scan of the patient’s knee to create a preoperative surgical plan. This allows Dr. Charles to map out the surgery and fit the implant to the patient’s knee. It also helps him make more accurate cuts. The robot does not perform the surgery; rather, it acts as a “second assistant” to help your surgeon complete the procedure with greater accuracy and precision than manual techniques.
Benefits of robotic knee replacement include:
- Accurate implant placement - With the preoperative plan, implant placement is much more accurate, and the knee is more balanced, which may lead to greater implant longevity and long-term patient satisfaction with the procedure.
- Smaller incisions and more precise bone cuts - Because the bone cuts are more precise, this can lead to less soft tissue dissection, and less pain after surgery.
- Quicker recovery - Because patients tend to have less pain after a robotic knee replacement, recovery tends to be quicker than more traditional methods of knee replacement.
Direct Superior Hip Replacement
In recent years, the anterior approach has been considered the latest and greatest in hip replacement techniques due to the fact that it is muscle-sparing and leads to a quicker recovery. However, anterior hip replacements often take longer to complete because it is difficult to accurately access and place the hip implants when the incision is located at the front of the hip.
A newer procedure, called the direct superior approach, also allows the surgeon to avoid cutting the muscles to complete the hip replacement. With the direct superior approach, the incision is made at the back of the hip joint, but it is smaller and higher on the hip than the traditional posterior approach hip replacement. It is easier to access the hip joint and accurately place the implants with the direct superior approach, so the procedure takes less time to complete than an anterior hip replacement. It also has a lower dislocation risk than more traditional hip replacement approaches.
Though it is one of the newest approaches for hip replacement, Dr. Charles was trained on the direct superior approach during his fellowship and uses this approach for all of his primary hip replacement cases.
Recovering from Hip & Knee Replacement
Following hip and knee replacements, patients typically stay at the hospital for one night, then return home the following day. With both hip and knee replacements, patients are up and walking in the hospital the day of surgery, using a walker for assistance. Patients are typically advised to continue using the walker to get around for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
Multimodal pain management techniques help hip and knee replacement patients stay comfortable so that they are able to progress in their recovery with limited use of narcotic pain medications. Multimodal pain management includes anti-inflammatory medications, nerve medications, local injections, and anesthesia. For most patients, pain is typically better after the 2-week mark.
Most hip replacement patients do not require formal physical therapy. Knee replacements typically require approximately 2-6 weeks of outpatient physical therapy, as the recovery process can be more strenuous than a hip replacement. For both hip and knee replacements, the majority of patients are able to return to their normal activities without restrictions in 3 months. However, Dr. Charles will advise when it is safe to return to activity based on your own individual progress.
Hip & Knee Replacement in New Orleans, LA
If arthritis has limited your normal activities, and conservative treatments have not provided relief, the team at Southern Orthopedic Specialists is here to help. Dr. Charles, Dr. Millet, Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Finney regularly perform joint replacements. Additionally, Dr. Charles is fellowship trained in cutting-edge hip and knee replacement techniques, including robotic surgery and direct superior approach hip replacements. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons, please call our office at (504) 897-6351 or request an appointment via our online form.