Broward Health North earned the Gold Seal of Approval™ for health care quality for Hip and Knee Replacement from the nationally recognized Joint Commission, the first and only hospital in Broward County to achieve this prestigious certification for these procedures.

Did You Know...

  • Broward Health Medical Center has been selected as one of 14 leading medical centers across the country to provide joint replacement surgery for retired National Football League players. It is the only location selected in Florida. [more...]
  • Broward Health North is one of only two South Florida healthcare facilities to offer computer-assisted, total hip and knee replacement surgery.
  • Broward Health North is the first community hospital in Broward County to have six board-certified orthopedic nurses on their designated orthopedic unit.
  • Broward Health Coral Springs offers a Joint Replacement Class every Wednesday at 2 pm, for patients scheduled for a total joint replacement. This class provides an opportunity to meet members of our multi-disciplinary orthopedics team.

Joint Replacement

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Is It Time for a New Joint?

Millions of us struggle with pain and loss of motion because of joint damage caused by arthritis. If other treatments fail to offer relief, you may wonder about turning in your worn-out joints for new ones.

Although surgery may not be a first treatment option, if you are a candidate for total joint replacement or arthroplasty, the results of the surgery are good to excellent for more than 90% of people, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. They get relief from pain and can resume normal daily activities.

Joint replacement surgery is fairly common for people with osteoarthritis. In this most common form of arthritis, cartilage the tissue that protects bones in a joint breaks down and wears away. Bones rub together, causing pain and loss of motion.

Should you have surgery?

Joint replacement should be a final step in treatment. More conservative treatments are generally recommended prior to joint replacement.

Those other treatments include using pain medication, losing weight to ease stress on the joint, and reducing physical activities that cause pain. Doctors also may suggest exercises to keep muscles and joints flexible, promote fitness, and strengthen muscles that support damaged joints.

While most people undergoing joint replacement surgery are in their 60s or older, younger people may undergo a joint replacement procedure when their condition warrants it. However, younger people may have other options available to them, such as changing to a less physically-demanding job, or having a different type of procedure that realigns or only partially replaces a joint.

The younger you are when you get a new joint, the more likely you are to need corrective surgery later. Surgery to fix or replace artificial joints has a risk of infection and other complications about 4 times greater than the initial surgery. Because doctors shape and remove bone to accept the new joint, repeated surgery also leaves less bone to attach to each new joint.

When do you need surgery?

X-ray evidence of joint damage is 1 of the criteria used to decide who should have this surgery. Your symptoms mainly pain are the most important consideration. This is predominantly a quality of life decision.

Candidates for joint replacement surgery should have 1 of the following: severe pain during activity, such as walking or getting up from a chair; pain that prevents them from doing activities; or pain at night that prevents them from sleeping.

What can you expect?

To get ready, you should work with your doctor to be sure you can tolerate anesthesia. If you have dental problems, have them corrected before surgery to reduce the risk for infection. Bacteria from the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause an infection at the surgical site. Heart problems should be stabilized before surgery.

Total joint replacement involves a 2-day hospital stay or 3-day hospital stay. You'll receive an anesthetic for the duration of the surgical procedure. The surgeon will reshape the ends of the bones to accept the artificial parts.

Artificial joints are usually made of metal and hard plastic. Depending on the type of replacement joint used, cement may be used to attach some of the parts. Metal parts may be anchored by inserting a rod into the bone or with cement. Typical hip and knee patients can walk the next day using a walker. You'll likely be discharged on the third or fourth day, but you'll need time to rehabilitate.

At first, you may need assistive devices, such as crutches or a walker after hip replacement, for example. Within a few months, you should resume most of your normal daily activities unaided. You may still need physical therapy.

After shoulder replacement surgery, you can start passive shoulder exercises, in which someone else moves the joint for you, soon after surgery. Three weeks to 6 weeks after surgery, you'll perform exercises a therapist gives you. Eventually, you'll begin to stretch and strengthen your shoulder so you can regain normal use with far less pain than you had before the surgery.

Recovery from joint replacement surgery generally involves some pain for 2 months to 3 months. However, it's usually a different type of pain and will go away as the recovery period continues.

Will a new joint last?

Experts caution against unrealistic expectations for a new joint. You shouldn't expect it to tolerate activities that involve jumping or the kind of stress that would be hard on a natural joint. Your doctor will advise you to avoid certain activities after surgery and may even recommend that certain joint positions be avoided in order to prevent dislocation of the joint. The restrictions given will depend on the joint that is replaced, as well as your individual situation.

An artificial joint will eventually develop changes from wear and tear, even under normal use and activity conditions. It may eventually need to be replaced. Artificial joints generally last 10 years to 15 years; thus, a person who is younger at the time of the joint replacement surgery may eventually need to have the new joint replaced. However, new materials being developed for joint replacement are giving artificial joints a longer life span. 

Many individuals have joint pain that hampers everyday activities, either because of arthritis, fractures, or other conditions. If medications and use of aids such as a cane are not helpful, patients, after consultation with their doctor, may find relief from their pain with joint replacement surgery. The goal of joint replacement surgery is to relieve joint pain caused by damage to the cartilage or bone.

The orthopedic surgeons at Broward Health are recognized leaders in joint replacement surgery. They are dedicated to providing you with the latest options in joint replacement surgery so you can get back to your daily activities with the shortest recovery time possible. Surgeries offered include:

Several of our Joint Replacement Centers, including Broward Health North and Broward Health Coral Springs offer computer-assisted technology to perform total joint replacement surgery. This advanced technique using an image-guided system during surgery that provides detailed visual information, improving the accuracy of the bone cut and alignment of bone during surgery, which enhances results and recovery of a joint replacement by providing more accurate placement and alignment of implants.

The experienced teams at our Joint Replacement Centers include highly-trained orthopedic surgeons, medical directors, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, RNs and patient care technicians, clinical nurse specialists, physical therapists/aides, orthopedic technicians, nutritionists, surgical and perioperative team members, case managers and program coordinators.

The award-winning Joint Replacement Center at Broward Health North features private rooms, pre-operative patient education, group and individual physical therapy and the latest advances in joint replacement surgery. Broward Health North is the first hospital in Broward County to be Joint Commission Certified for hip and knee replacement and received the Innovation of the Year in Patient Care for Quality Award from the Florida Hospital Association.

The Joint Replacement Center at Broward Health Medical Center, led by W. Vincent Burke, M.D., consists of a specialty-trained, customer-focused team whose main goal is to improve the lives of its patients and promote speedy recovery back to a state of independence. The program differs from the current care of joint replacement patients in three primary ways: heavy emphasis on pre- and post-op patient education, standardization of orders/routines, and intense inpatient physical therapy.

In addition to the benefits of state-of-the-art technology, patients have the opportunity to undergo their procedure at Broward County’s second largest healthcare facility, which also features an inpatient rehabilitation unit and an orthopedic program considered one of the best in the tri-county area.

The Joint Replacement Center at Broward Health Coral Springs is committed to providing the highest quality care to patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery.  Using the latest advancements in joint replacement surgery and family-center patient education and therapy, we are dedicated to improving our patients’ recovery and quality of life.

Following orthopedic surgery, you may be referred to physical therapy or rehabilitation.