Total Joint Replacement
Improve Your Ability to
Perform Daily Functions
Is joint pain interfering with your quality of life? Has your lost range of motion affected your ability to complete daily tasks?
Restoring or replacing arthritic or damaged joints can ease your pain and improve your ability to perform daily functions.
Drs. Matthew Heinrich, David Dodgin, and Gregory Catlett in Austin, TX, can help patients resume their life through total joint replacement.
Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthetic device. These devices are designed to replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.
What joints can be replaced in a total joint replacement surgery?
Total joint replacement is a commonly performed surgery at our Austin, TX, practice and throughout the entire country. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimates more than 400,000 are done each year. At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, joint replacement is possible for virtually every joint, including the ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow, and finger, but the two most commonly replaced joints are knees and hips.
An advanced stage of osteoarthritis is typically the main reason for a knee replacement. Patients who need this surgery have severe pain in their knee that can prevent them from climbing stairs, getting up after sitting, and even walking. During this procedure, your doctor will remove damaged bone and cartilage from your shinbone, thighbone, and kneecap. The removed bone and cartilage will then be replaced with an artificial joint that functions like your natural knee.
Similar to a knee replacement, a hip typically needs to be replaced due to an advanced stage of arthritis. Patients who suffer from this severe pain have difficulty walking, getting dressed, climbing stairs, and even sleeping. During your hip replacement procedure, your doctor will remove the damaged sections of your hip and replace them with an artificial joint that functions just like your natural hip.
Are You in Significant Joint Pain?
Contact Our Orthopedic Specialists Today
Our orthopedic surgeons are equipped with the experience, skill, and technology to help you achieve optimal results. Whether you have pain in your knee, hip, or shoulder, Drs. Heinrich, Dodgin, and Catlett can help restore your mobility and alleviate your pain through a total joint replacement. Contact our Austin, Texas, practice to request your consultation.
Benefits of Joint Replacement
Live Life to the Fullest
At Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin, our patients benefit from top-quality implants that can last up to 20 years with proper care. In most adult patients, joint replacement is a life-long solution. Naturally, younger individuals may need an additional replacement over time, or as their body develops.
Improved Quality of Life
Joint replacement surgery should be reserved for patients who can no longer control their pain with conservative treatment or those with severe joint damage. By replacing the damaged joint, our doctors can alleviate pain and discomfort and restore your ability to perform daily activities.
Many of our patients can walk or apply pressure to their new joints on the day of surgery. Following rehabilitation and physical therapy, many patients can return to their daily activities and continue to participate in their favorite hobbies including golfing, swimming, or hiking.
If You're in Joint Pain, You're Not Alone
Joint replacement surgery is a fairly common procedure. Each year more than 1,000,000 people undergo hip replacement or knee replacement, according to a study by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Orthopedic Design & Technology.
The Process of Joint Replacement Surgery
Our doctors are trained in the latest techniques of orthopedic surgery to provide the best possible results. Whether you are getting a knee, hip, ankle, or wrist replacement, the processes have many similarities:
Each procedure starts with scheduling a consultation at our Austin, TX, office. There, our doctors will go over your symptoms, medical history, and the condition of your joint and its surrounding muscles. This is also a good time for you to ask any questions about the procedure.
In the weeks leading up to surgery, your doctor will tell you which medications to stop taking and may recommend certain exercises and dietary changes. You should also prepare your home to accommodate your needs after surgery. Things like a shower bench, handrails, or a grabbing device could all be useful post-operation.
You will be given anesthesia to ensure you are kept comfortable and pain-free throughout the entire procedure. Our doctors use the most advanced arthroscopic and robotic-assisted surgical tools to create the smallest possible incisions during your operation. After the incisions are made, they will remove the damaged cartilage and bone from your joint and replace the tissue with a prosthetic that mimics their shape and movement.
This is considered an outpatient procedure, so you will be able to go home the same day as your surgery. You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. Most patients will be able to begin standing and walking for a short amount of time almost immediately after surgery.
It is important to follow Dr. Heinrich and Dr. Dodgin's care instructions to ensure the quickest and safest recovery. Patients are typically able to resume most daily activities around six weeks post-operation. Low-impact activities can be resumed after your recovery per your doctor's instructions. However, high-impact activities—especially after a knee or hip replacement—might need to be avoided altogether. Activities like swimming, hiking, or biking can be resumed following recovery, and your new joint should provide you with pain-free mobility for more than 15 years.
Are there any risks associated with joint replacement surgery?
Temporary pain, swelling, and bruising are normal after surgery, and should subside within a few weeks to months. However, all surgeries involve risks that patients should understand before deciding to undergo treatment. You can minimize these risks by choosing a qualified and reputable surgeon and following their instructions as carefully as you can during recovery.
Like most any surgery, joint replacement also has the potential of causing nerve damage. If nerve damage has occurred, you will notice a lack of sensation in areas near the surgical site. While this side effect can be an annoyance, it is not considered an emergency.
Your wound may be infected if you notice an increase in redness, tenderness, swelling, pain, and drainage from the procedure area. You will need to contact your doctor right away so they can assess your joint and determine if another surgery to remove the replacement is needed for the infection to heal.
You may have a blood clot if you are noticing throbbing pain, increased inflammation, increased redness, and increased warmth. The symptoms can be similar to those of an infection, so this needs to be treated by your doctor right away. Quick treatment is crucial because blood clots can lead to severe complications, and can be fatal in some cases.
Although rare, a loosening or dislocated prosthesis is a potential side effect that needs to be immediately treated by your doctor. Contact Dr. Heinrich or Dr. Dodgin if you are experiencing any feeling of instability, increased swelling, or increased pain, as these might be a sign of an issue with your prosthetic.
You Can Trust
All our doctors at the Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin are board-certified and fellowship-trained. While generalists may only perform two joint replacement surgeries in a year, our specialists perform several a day. We use the most advanced orthopedic techniques to provide the least invasive treatment options that result in the quickest recovery possible. Contact our Austin, TX, practice if you are ready to stop living with joint pain.
Am I a good candidate for joint replacement?
Often, any patient who has tried all other non-invasive treatments and has seen no results is a good candidate for joint replacement. However, some factors can affect your candidacy:
Total joint replacement is usually recommended for people between the ages of 55 and 80.
Any underlying medical conditions need to be addressed with your surgeon before your procedure. Your candidacy will depend on the type and severity of your underlying disease.
Severely overweight or obese patients may not be good candidates for a joint replacement. The excess weight adds stress to the artificial joint and can sometimes lead to its failure.
It will be recommended that you stop smoking before and after your joint replacement. Studies have shown there is a higher risk of medical complications and a need for a joint revision in patients who smoke.
For Long-Lasting Solutions and a Quicker Recovery
Contact Our Austin-Based Orthopaedic Practice
Drs. Heinrich, Dodgin, and Catlett are total joint replacement specialists who focus on providing the least invasive treatment possible that gives you the best results. Patients from all over Texas choose our doctors when they are having knee, hip, or any joint pain because they are:
Our surgeons will only recommend surgery after more conservative treatments have failed. They use the latest techniques and technology in orthopedics to provide minimally invasive options whenever possible.
All our surgeons have more than a decade of orthopedic experience. They have completed numerous joint replacements and understand what it takes to produce quality results and a quick recovery.
Our doctors will make your comfort and rehabilitation their mission when treating your joint-related pain. Their number one goal is to improve your quality of life by alleviating your pain and restoring your mobility.