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Published on May 29, 2020

Is It Time for Joint Replacement?

person grabbing knee

Is pain interfering with your daily activities, or keeping you from getting a good night's sleep?

Is it the right time to explore your options for hip or knee replacement surgery?

EvergreenHealth orthopedic surgeon Dr. Adam Rothenberg will share some information on signs on when you should visit your doctor to discuss the pain, along with options for replacement, should that be the best option.

How can I differentiate between a short-term injury and a chronic condition?

Dr. Adam Rothenberg: If you're having pain for a few days, it’s important to use anti-inflammatory medications, ice, and minimize the activities that cause pain.

If it's prolonged for more than a week or so, then you should see your regular doctor or primary care doctor.

My pain isn’t getting better; are there things you can do before considering a replacement?

Dr. Rothenberg: If anti- inflammatory medication, ice, and activity modification isn’t helping the next steps would be visiting the doctor.

Your doctor may suggest going to physical therapy (PT), modifying your daily activities, or intra-articular injections (such as steroids) before looking into a replacement.

How do I know if I am a candidate for a hip or knee replacement?

Dr. Rothenberg: It is important that you consider the factors of the pain or injury: pain severity, stiffness, age considerations, etc. are all things to consider before you and your doctor decide if a replacement is right for you.

If you notice that with your knee or hip dysfunction, you're losing your range of motion, you're losing your ability to walk long distances, and your health and fitness are deteriorating, you want to intervene earlier rather than later so that we can preserve what you do have.

Left untreated it can be difficult to restore the original range of motion after surgery.

My doctor and I decided that a replacement is what I need - what are the next steps?

Dr. Rothenberg: The next important thing after you make the decision for surgery – is a customized plan based on your health, age, and situation.

What can I expect after my replacement? How long will it last?

Dr. Rothenberg: Depending on your function before the surgery, extended recovery typically takes between 6 and 12 weeks.

We can confidentially say 90 percent of hip and knee replacements will last 20 or more years. We've fixed a lot of the mechanical issues in the past that have been a problem.

There can be issues over the course of a patient's life, and that's why it's advantageous to be working with a specialist because they can take care of you through the comprehensive range of care.

Adam Rothenberg Meet the Expert

Adam Rothenberg, MD

Dr. Adam Rothenberg is a fellowship trained, board-eligible orthopedic surgeon. His clinical interests include minimally invasive total hip replacement, including the direct anterior approach, plus full and partial knee replacement. He practices at EvergreenHealth Orthopedic & Sports Care in Kirkland, WA.

Read Dr. Adam Rothenberg's full profile

Get more information about Orthopedics at EvergreenHealth

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