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Expert Orthopedic Care in Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons use the most innovative surgical and non-surgical techniques to help you regain mobility and return to an active lifestyle. Providing high-quality, comprehensive orthopedic care, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in hip and knee care, including total and partial, hip replacement surgery and knee replacement surgery.

What’s Causing My Hip or Knee Joint Pain?

Joint pain can be frustrating, incredibly limiting and very painful. When damage to the hip or knee occurs, the functionality of these joints is disturbed, affecting the complex workings of bones, muscles, ligaments and cartilage – leading to pain and lack of motion.

Common conditions and causes of joint pain:

  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Hip labral tear
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Traumatic arthritis

When Should I Get Hip Replacement or Knee Replacement Surgery?

Typically, people decide to get hip replacement or knee replacement surgery when non-surgical options are no longer working and their pain is getting in the way of everyday living. The most common non-surgical treatments we provide are cortisone injections, physical therapy and customized exercise regimens. When these treatments no longer relieve pain, it’s a good indication that surgery may be needed.

It’s best to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who can make the correct diagnosis, and then explore treatment options, including possible joint replacement. We offer total and partial knee replacement and hip replacement surgery options – with the ability for robotic-assisted and/or minimally invasive surgery techniques for faster recoveries with less pain.

Learn about hip and knee replacement surgery from Ted Parcel, DO

Watch Molly’s hip replacement story

What Should I Expect Before, During and After Joint Replacement Surgery?

Before: A week prior, you will have daily pre-surgery exercises to follow. These exercises are designed to get your joint ready for the best surgical outcome.

During: After you receive anesthesia and a long-acting numbing medicine, your surgeon will make an incision and remove all parts of the damaged joint and replace with the artificial joint. The actual joint replacement surgery typically only takes one to two hours.

After: Your doctor and medical team will work closely with you to manage your pain as effectively as possible. Your hospital recovery time will depend on the type of surgery you receive, but typically it lasts less than four days. In many cases, a physical therapist will work with patients on exercises starting a few hours after surgery.

Rehab: Next is the longest and most important phase – rehabilitation. You will work on exercises with a physical therapist to regain strength and motion. Rehab is essential to receiving the optimal outcome of joint replacement surgery. Full recovery can take two months to a year for hip replacement and six months to a year for knee replacement.

Orthopedic Care Locations

Carolinas HealthCare System Orthopaedic Surgery-Waxhaw
2700 Providence Road South, Suite 225
Waxhaw, NC 28173

Carolinas HealthCare System Orthopaedic Surgery-Indian Trail
6050 Hwy 74 W
Indian Trail, NC 28079

CMC Orthopaedic Surgery - Lincoln
441 McAlister Road, Suite 1100A
Lincolnton, NC 28092

CMC Orthopaedic Surgery - Denver
1585 Forney Creek Parkway, Suite 2350
Denver, NC 28037

Piedmont Orthopedic Specialists
1090 Northeast Gateway Court, Suite 204
Concord, NC 28025

Piedmont Orthopedic Specialists-Poplar Tent
5651 Poplar Tent Road, Suite 200
Concord, NC 28027

Additional Orthopedic Care Locations

Joint Replacement Surgery FAQs

What are alternatives to joint replacement surgery?

There are many non-surgical options including:

  • Medications
    • Anti-inflammatories
    • Over-the-counter pain relievers
    • Prescription-strength pain relievers
  • Physical therapy with activity modifications
  • Assistive devices, such as a cane or knee brace
  • Injections
    • Cortisone injections
    • Viscosupplementation (fluid functions as lubricant)

What could happen to my joint if I don’t get joint replacement surgery (but need it)?

If you need joint replacement surgery and don’t get it, you’ll likely experience progressively worse and continual pain, leading to decreased function and poorer quality of life. You also run the risk of further deformity of the joint, which makes a future joint replacement more challenging.

When should I get hip replacement or knee replacement surgery?

The first indication occurs when non-surgical options, such as anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone shots are no longer relieving pain – and the pain is negatively affecting your everyday activities. If this is the case, it’s best to talk it over with an orthopedic surgeon to make the correct diagnosis, and then explore treatment options, including possible joint replacement.

What will occur during surgery and how long will the operation take?

Your surgeon will thoroughly discuss the surgery with you beforehand and will use joint replacement models to help you better understand the surgery. During surgery, the total or partial joint will be removed and replaced with an artificial joint (a combination of metal and plastic). The surgery typically takes about one to two hours, depending on the severity of the arthritis (the most common cause of joint replacement surgery).

Will I be in pain after hip replacement or knee replacement surgery?

Yes, there will be pain, but your doctor and medical team will make sure your pain is manageable. During and after the surgery, a long-acting numbing medicine is delivered intravenously (IV) to provide up to three days of noticeable pain relief. The pain should gradually get better. In most cases, physical therapists have patients standing at bedside and even taking a few steps a few hours after the surgery. Any breakthrough pain is adequately controlled with oral pain medication.

What does an artificial joint feel like and how does it move differently from my original joint?

Most patients notice very little difference between the replaced joint and a normal joint. The artificial joint should function nearly the same as the original joint, but the mechanics are slightly different. After rehabilitation, your mobility should be at a much greater level and with little to no pain.

What will my activity be like after joint replacement surgery?

Initially, the goal is to get the patient walking with a walker, with progression to a cane and then walking without aids. Typically, the progression from walker, to cane, to no aids is directed by the patient’s physical therapist.

What should I expect during recovery and rehabilitation?

Expect gradual progress in range of motion and gains in strength, with elimination of the pre-surgical pain. You should also be ready to work hard and consistently throughout rehab.

How important is rehab to my recovery?

The ultimate success of the surgery depends on rehab, especially with knee replacement surgery, as knees tend to require more to restore joint motion. Regaining strength and motion allows patients to enjoy the best results.

Will I ever need another joint replacement surgery on the same joint?

If the artificial joint becomes worn down or loose, revision surgery may be needed. Infection may warrant revision as well. We recommend periodic follow-ups with your surgeon.