Today, "going bionic" is a commonplace event for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have joint replacement surgery every year, replacing their knee or hip (the two most common joint replacements) with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a prosthesis.

At Wythe County Community Hospital, we provide a comprehensive range of joint replacement options. Our board- certified orthopedic surgeon, nurses and physical therapists take a whole-body approach to diagnosing and treating your hip, knee or shoulder pain. Thanks to recent advances in joint replacement surgery, patients today can often return to their favorite activities in a much shorter period of time. And the use of stronger, more technologically advanced materials means the devices used in joint replacement surgery today are lasting much longer.

To learn more about joint replacement procedures at Wythe, call 800.424.3627

What causes joint problems? 

A joint is the part of your body where two bones come together, connected by cartilage. Over time, joints can wear out or be severely damaged by arthritis. The resulting pain, swelling and stiffness can cause a lack of mobility and a decline in a person's quality of life.

What is joint replacement surgery?

It's a surgical procedure in which a joint, such as the knee, hip or shoulder, is replaced with a prosthetic joint, made of plastic, metal, ceramic, or a composite of those materials. Joint replacement surgery is one of the most common medical procedures performed today. Almost one million joint replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States.

Who benefits from a joint replacement? 

If you are having difficulty walking or find it painful to carry out daily activities such as climbing steps, you may want to consider having a joint replacement.
A fractured hip is another reason to have this type of surgery. American seniors suffer from some 300,000 hip fractures every year.

What's the first logical step? 

Your first step is to talk to your primary care physician and make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. In many cases, an X-ray or another imaging device is used to determine the severity of damage to the injured joint. Another step might involve arthroscopic surgery. A small lighted tube is inserted into the joint to inspect the area and determine the extent of the damage.

Sounds great. Will it work? 

Individuals commonly have question about the success rates of joint replacement surgery. In the case of hip surgery, for example, more than 95 percent of patients experience relief from pain. And the success rate for hip replacement after 10 years is 90 to 95 percent.

How long is the recovery time?

Joint replacement is major surgery. Everybody heals differently, but you can usually expect to spend several weeks recovering from your surgery. A physical therapist will usually work with you at the hospital and at home to help you strengthen and regain your strength in your joint and muscles. An appointment with your orthopedic surgeon is usually scheduled six to eight weeks after the surgery to make sure the joint is healing properly.

Many people are understandably anxious about having joint replacement surgery. But remember this: the overwhelming majority of people enjoy greater mobility, less pain and a more active lifestyle within a few weeks after their joint replacement surgery. 

To learn more about bone and joint services at Wythe, call 800.424.3627