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More than 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, making it the most common reason for joint replacement. Over years of use, the cartilage in the affected joint wears down and no longer provides the protection and shock absorption it once did.
A joint is defined as “the point of connection between two bones,” and is what allows movement. When the protective cartilage wears away, the ends of the bones begin to rub together causing pain, stiffness and swelling.
Surgeons like Dr. Surdam and Dr. Licini work with patients to help alleviate this pain and bring back quality of life. If non-surgical treatment options, such as medications or injections, or physical therapy, don’t lessen the pain as much as needed, joint replacement surgery is another treatment option.
The knee joint is made up of three parts: the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), the upper end of the shin bone (tibia), and the knee cap (patella). During knee replacement surgery, the orthopedic surgeon removes the remaining cartilage and damaged bone surfaces on both sides of the joint and the back of the knee cap. Metal implants are then positioned on the ends of the femur and tibia, while a piece of plastic imitates the cartilage and will help your new joint move smoothly with less pain.
The muscles, ligaments and tendons remain, which will help support the new joint. During the recovery process, physical therapy helps to build strength in these muscles and ligaments, and increase range of motion. The strength and balance gained during physical therapy are very important for a successful recovery.
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. The socket (acetabulum) is part of the pelvis and the ball (femoral head) is the upper part of the thigh bone (femur). During hip replacement surgery, the damaged bone in the socket is removed and replaced with a metal shell and plastic liner, while the ball is removed and a new, metal ball is attached to the femur. The two pieces fit together and make up the new hip joint.
Similar to knee replacement surgery, the muscles, ligaments and tendons stay in the hip and physical therapy following surgery will help build strength in these areas.
We believe patient education is one of the keys to success in joint replacement surgery. Before surgery, all of our patients attend a class at our office to learn more about the surgery and what to expect before, during and after.
We also give all of our patients a book of information that they can use as a reference throughout the process, and includes information on your hospital stay, exercises to do before and after surgery, and other tips to help ensure your joint replacement surgery is a success. Click the links below to read the sections of our patient education book.
Our joint replacement program
All of our joint replacement surgeries are performed at IU Health Bloomington Hospital, which holds certification from the Joint Commission for both knee replacement and hip replacement. Dr. Surdam and Dr. Licini work closely with the nurses and staff on the orthopedics unit to ensure each patient’s experience is positive and individualized.
Watch the videos below to learn more about the joint replacement process.
What our patients say
For Kathy Simmonds, being active is an important part of who she is. From starting dance at the age of four, to baton twirling, to exercising and keeping up with four young grandsons, activity plays a major role in Kathy’s quality of life.
“I would be walking down the hall at school and my hip would give out. I was limping and my hip always hurt. I remember seeing the looks in people’s eyes that said ‘poor Kathy.’ They’re used to me always being the active one.
“After talking with Dr. Surdam, I knew I wanted him to do my surgery. When I woke up from surgery, I was relieved. I knew that now it was up to me and that would be a cinch because I was so determined.”
“Dr. Licini was terrific. Even though he is a young physician, he treated me with great respect. My surgery experience couldn’t have been better. Never did someone enter the room that didn’t stop and ask if there was anything they could do or get for me. Everyone was very caring and very attentive.
“Before, the pain was so terrible I could barely walk. Now, I’m a normal person. I’m driving, I’m going to outpatient physical therapy, I came back to my volunteer job. I’m doing everything I’d like to do. I expected to be out for six weeks, and it’s only been three, so healing has been going much more rapidly than I thought. I’m sorry I didn’t have it done sooner.”
Tom and Jeannette Thompson
As a couple who wants to be able to play with their grandkids and not just watch, being physically active and able to easily move around is important to the Thompsons. When joint pain started affecting both Jeanette and Tom at the same time, their ability to play with their grandkids and be active was put into question.
Tom says, “I heard nothing but good things about Dr. Surdam, and I know he does it often. I want somebody who does it every week. I don’t want someone who does it twice a year, I want him doing that constantly because if a problem comes up, he’s going to be able to handle it. And I kind of liked the guy.
“They’re good people, caring people. They know what they’re doing, they’ll take care of me and give it their best shot and that’s what I feel like I got. I’ll probably have to have my other hip done and if I have it done, I will go back and Dr. Surdam will do it.”