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FAQ

General

What are the most common orthopaedic surgeries?

The most common orthopaedic surgeries are:

  • Arthroscopic surgery of the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, and ankle
  • Joint replacement surgery, during which an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint

Repair of soft tissue injuries, such as torn tendons or ligaments.

Do I use ice or heat therapy on my injury?

The general rule of thumb is to use ice in the acute stage of an injury (within the first 24 – 48 hours) or whenever swelling is showing. Ice helps to reduce inflammation and swelling by decreasing blood flow to the area that is injured. The general guideline is to apply ice indirectly (not directly on the skin) for 20 minutes, remove the ice for at least 20 minutes, and repeat as necessary.

Heat is used to increase blood flow, which helps promote regeneration after an inflammatory episode. Heat is also used to assist in warming muscles up prior to exercise, any physical activity, or physical therapy.

The use of contrast therapy (both hot and cold) has also been advocated in the area of rehabilitation after strenuous exercise regimes.

If I were to see an orthopaedic surgeon, will the surgeon generally recommend surgery for my arthritic/ bad knee?

Most orthopaedic injuries and conditions are treated without surgery, using a range of treatments that include activity modification, physical therapy, and medications. Surgery is often a last resort and an option only when conservative methods or procedures have failed.

What are the benefits of joint replacement surgery?

The primary goals of joint replacement surgery are to restore mobility and to relieve pain. Good evidence-based medicine data reveals that a typical total hip or knee replacement lasts at least 20 years in about 80 percent of patients, which lets patients enjoy their favourite activities without pain.

How long does it take for joint replacement surgery to heal completely?

Healing times depend largely on the patient’s overall health, body type, and lifestyle. With proper care, rest, and therapy, patients heal sufficiently to return to most activities of daily living within several weeks from their procedure.

Can I still run / play soccer / golf with a joint replacement?

Healing times depend largely on the patient’s overall health, body type, and lifestyle. With proper care, rest and therapy, the patient should be able to return to most activities of daily living within several weeks from their procedure. 

The outcome after a joint replacement largely depends upon a number of factors that require coordination with your surgeon. Most patients are able to resume athletic activity at a recreational level, enjoying the benefits of exercise and recreation without pain or limitations. A lot have returned to their pre-morbid condition with less pain, although at a reduced intensity.

What is a H&L or a cortisone injection? Is this routinely given for a a painful knee joint?

Cortisone is a steroid and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It treats inflammation and reduces pain. If pain is decreased from cortisone, it is because the inflammation is diminished. Very high concentrations of cortisone can be injected into a particular area of inflammation while keeping potential side effects to a minimum. Cortisone injections is not routinely given for any painful knee. The cause of the knee pain would have to be ascertained, either by MRI or clinical means before any injections are even contemplated. It usually work within a few days, and the effects can last up to several weeks. The shot can be slightly painful, especially when given into a joint, but in skilled hands it usually is well-tolerated. Other risks include the possibility of allergic reactions and introducing infections into the knee joint.

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