The Doctor Is In: Joint Replacement

Content sponsored and provided by Henry Ford Health System.

When non-surgical treatments don't seem to work any more, joint replacement surgery may be your next option.

Nearly 1 million total joint replacement procedures were performed in the United States in 2011, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Experts at Henry Ford Hospital say hip and knee replacements are the most commonly performed, and many people are enjoying fuller, more active lives today after surgery.

Dr. Michael Charters, a joint replacement surgeon for Henry Ford Hospital, will join us Wednesday morning for the Doctor Is In.  He'll explain the many advances in the design and implantation of artificial hip and knee joints, all leading to a high percentage of long-term outcomes for patients.

CLICK HERE to join the chatroom conversation with the doctors.

People with severe joint pain - caused by either arthritis, injury or disease - and who haven't been helped by non-invasive treatments like medication or physical therapy, are typically the ideal candidate for joint replacement.

Today's joint implants, or prosthesis, are made of metal, plastic or ceramic, and mimic the shape and movement of a natural joint. Long-term success of total hip and knee replacement is more than 95 percent at 10 years. During the two-hour procedure, your surgeon replaces the damaged hip or knee with an implant. Patients often are hospitalized for a day or two after which they are put on an exercise regimen to restore movement and strengthen the joint. 

Henry Ford's Joint Preservation Program assists patients with ways to slow down the progression of joint pain, without surgery.

These free classes provide information about how the joints work, how-to self-manage pain, medical treatments, physical therapy and exercises to strengthen joints. Classes are held monthly at various Henry Ford locations. 

Jacob Heikkinen, an athletic trainer at Henry Ford Hospital and 2014 High School Athletic Trainer of the Year (Michigan Athletic Trainers' Society), will also join us. He has tips on how to avoid joint injury this winter.

Exercising regularly, eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight are key to reducing people's risk of joint pain or injury. During the winter, remember these safety tips for protecting yourself during outdoor activities:

Do not shovel after eating or while smoking.
Stay hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks.
Take it slow and stretch before shoveling.
Push the snow instead of lifting it.
If you do lift it, lift with your legs, not your back.
If you have a history of heart disease, obtain a doctor's permission before shoveling.
Walk like a duck on ice or slippery pavement.
Dress in layered clothing, and wear hats and gloves. Hats are a must because the head is where 30 percent of the body's heat loss takes place.

For more information about joint replacement, visit Orthopedic Surgery


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