The words “joint replacement surgery” can be daunting for many reasons: fear of pain, slow recovery and more. Modern approaches to joint replacement and an understanding of the facts about this surgery can help get patients back on their feet, pain-free. The experienced team at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center addresses common concerns about joint replacement surgery.

I’m afraid it’s going to hurt.

The pain after joint replacement surgery is muscular pain or tenderness at the incision site, which will go away in just a few weeks, said Kristen Black, Joint Center coordinator. These sensations are not like the pain prior to surgery, which is bone-on-bone or arthritic pain that only increases with time, she said.

I’m worried about a lengthy recovery.

Joint replacement surgery used to require patients to put their lives on hold for weeks or months. Long recovery is now a thing of the past, Black noted. Most return home after a night or two in the hospital. Patients who meet certain criteria may qualify for Shady Grove’s enhanced recovery program and be discharged within 23 hours. Robotic surgery can also reduce healing time. Shady Grove pioneered MAKOplasty robotic joint surgery in Montgomery County and now stands alone in our region by offering the technology for total knee replacements.

Surgery can wait; I’ll do it in a few years.

Many people believe they’re too young for surgery or they can wait until their condition gets worse. However, if joint pain is interfering with walking, working or enjoying even simple activities, then surgery may be the right option for you, said Brett Hampton, MD, medical director of The Joint Center at Shady Grove.

“If you’re considering joint surgery, don’t wait,” Dr. Hampton said. “We’ll find the approach that’s right for your unique circumstances and get you moving better than ever.”

Cathy Ouellette, Summit

Bouncing Back from Joint Surgery

Cathy Ouellette, 55, of Poolesville, Maryland, hiked the Half Dome in Yosemite National Park just four months after having knee replacement surgery at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. She attributed her quick recovery to her excellent care team, her active lifestyle and not waiting to have surgery until she could no longer walk. Cathy noted that life with her new knee “continues to be fabulous!”

Is your knee pain or hip discomfort a temporary bother or something more serious? Might be time to talk to our orthopedic surgeons.