Tag Archives: Hip

After One Joint Wears Out, Will More Go?

Hip, back and spinal problems in young ages.Here’s a question I’m often asked by patients: “If one of my joints has worn out, how likely are the others to go?” A recent publication from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) lends some insights into this question. The study, found in the Aug. 12, 2019 issue of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, is the first of its kind. The likelihood of undergoing a 2nd Arthroplasty (Joint replacement) after hip or knee replacement had not previously been evaluated.

The authors prospectively asked two questions: “What is the likelihood of second Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) or Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) after primary TKA or THA?” and “What risk factors are associated with undergoing addition joint replacement. The study identified 332 patients who underwent primary TKA and another 132 who underwent THA across five OAI-participating centers in the U.S., who hadn’t previously had a THA or TKA. The patients were followed for 8 years after their primary joint replacement.

  • The incidence of contralateral (opposite Knee) TKA after primary TKA was 40%
  • The incidence of THA after any TKA was 13%
  • The incidence of contralateral (opposite) THA after primary THA was 8%
  • The incidence of any TKA after primary THA was 32%

As for the second question in the study: Risk factors for undergoing contralateral TKA were younger age and a loss of medial joint space with a varus angulation, or bow leg deformity.

The conclusion is clear: Patients who underwent TKA or THA for osteoarthritis had a relatively high rate of subsequent joint arthroplasty. There’s no question that osteoarthritis is common and debilitating, and often it affects more than one large, weight-bearing joint.

If you need a joint replacement or want to learn more about the procedure, hip or knee replacement surgical outcomes, recovery and quality-of-life prognosis, please contact our office. We’ll help you return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle. Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is a knee and hip expert specializing in joint replacement surgery.

Can Activity Trackers Assist with Recovery After Knee or Hip Arthroplasty?

activitytrackerCommercial wrist-worn activity monitors, like those by Fitbit, the Apple Watch or Garmin, have the potential to accurately assess activity levels and have been gaining popularity in the last few years. In a 2018 study published in The Journal of Arthroplasty, researchers set out to determine if feedback from activity monitors can improve activity levels after total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty.

To conduct this study, 163 people undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty or total hip arthroplasty were randomized into two groups. Subjects in the study received an activity tracker with the step display obscured two weeks before surgery and completed patient-reported outcome measures. On the day after surgery, participants were randomized into either the “feedback group” or the “no feedback group”. The feedback group was able to view their daily step count and was given a daily step goal. Those in the no feedback group wore the device with the display obscured for two weeks after surgery and did not receive a formal step goal, but were also able to see their daily step count after those two weeks were up.

Average steps taken by both groups were monitored at one, two, and six weeks, and again at six months. At six months after surgery, subjects repeated their patient-reported outcome measures.

It turns out that the feedback group subjects had a significantly higher average daily step count by 43% in week one, 33% in week two, 21% in week six, and 17% at six months, compared to the no feedback group. Additionally, the feedback group subjects were 1.7 times more likely to achieve an average of 7,000 steps per day than the no feedback group subjects at six weeks after surgery. Six weeks after surgery, the feedback group participants were back to their pre-op activity levels (100%) and at six months, they were actually stepping more (137%). While 83% of the no feedback group participants reported they were satisfied with the results of the surgery, 90% of the feedback groups reported the same.

With mobility and physical activity being imperative to healthy aging and very helpful for recovery after total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty, incorporating an activity monitor into your post-operative rehabilitation is a great idea for health and exercise motivation.

Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in total knee arthroplasty, total hip arthroplasty, exercise and health, and more. Contact Dr. Stickney to return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle.

Can Patients Who Live Alone Be Sent Home Safely After Joint Replacement?

homerecoveryAccording to a recent study published by The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in partnership with Wolters Kluwer, most patients who live alone can safely be discharged home from the hospital to recover after knee or hip replacement surgery.

This encouraging finding questions the firmly held belief that patients who live on their own should first be sent to an inpatient rehabilitation facility after undergoing hip or knee joint replacement surgery. “Patients living alone had a safe and manageable recovery when discharged directly home after total joint arthroplasty,” write Andrew N. Fleischman, MD, and colleagues from The Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

The study focused on 769 patients of a similar age demographic who were sent directly home after one-sided total hip or knee replacement; 138 of these patients were living alone for the first two weeks after surgery. The researchers compared complication rates and other important outcomes for patients who lived alone versus those who lived with others.

The researchers did find that patients who lived alone were more likely to spend more than one night in the hospital, had higher rates of in-home nursing care and physical therapy. But otherwise, the outcomes were very similar for patients living alone compared to those who lived with others. In both groups, the post-discharge complication rate was around eight percent. The two groups also had similar rates of “unplanned clinical events,” such as emergency department or urgent care visits. Pain relief and satisfaction scores during recovery were very alike as well.

Perhaps some of the most exciting results: up to six months after surgery, there were no significant differences in scores for joint functioning and quality of life and nearly 90 percent of patients living alone said they would choose to be discharged home directly after surgery again.

Although some patients who live alone can benefit from home health services or even an extra day in the hospital, discharge directly home for joint replacement postoperative rehabilitation may be a much more economical and comfortable choice than routinely sending them for inpatient rehabilitation – while also avoiding the believed associated risks.

Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in exercise and healthjoint replacement surgerysports medicine and more. Contact Dr. Stickney and return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle!

How The SwiftPath Method is Changing Joint Replacement

Joint replacement patients need surgical options that reduce pain, reduce the need for narcotics and speed recovery more than ever. Even patients with severe debilitating arthritis are often afraid of joint replacement — and what they fear most is the pain of the surgery, complications due to using narcotics and being completely out of commission after surgery. The SwiftPath Method aims to resolve all these issues. 

SwiftPath is a protocol-driven company that is constantly striving to discover advanced surgical techniques in joint replacement. Their goal is to collaborate with top surgeons in driving improvements for outpatient and enhanced recovery joint replacements. Over the past two years, the SwiftPath Program has been used in thousands of knee and hip replacements performed across the country. The program is so effective, that many patients can be discharged directly to home with no use of rehabilitation centers, hotels, or other types of recovery settings.

Where traditional joint replacement methods relied on large incisions, heavy doses of pain medications and months of difficult postoperative therapy, new minimally-invasive techniques have advanced joint replacement surgery for better hip and knee surgical outcomes, now allowing people to get back to their active, healthy lifestyle faster with reduced postoperative pain and stiffness and no need for narcotics. With patient education and family involvement, The SwiftPath Method creates a working plan customized to each patient to cultivate success with outpatient knee replacement or hip replacement. Non-narcotic pain control, streamlined nursing and physical therapy, online home care monitoring and more help patients achieve rapid rehabilitation. These groundbreaking techniques, and much more, are what set The SwiftPath method apart.

Do you need a replacement, or have questions about The SwiftPath Method or joint replacement surgeryDr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in hip replacement surgerysports medicine and more. Contact Dr. Stickney and return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle!

There’s No Place Like Home After Surgery

recovering-at-homeTraditionally, patients and doctors have opted for in-patient postoperative rehabilitation after total hip or total knee replacement surgery, despite the high costs. However, recent studies found that after joint replacement surgery, patients who live alone are happier and fare just as well, and possibly better, when recovering at home rather than staying at a rehab facility. 

The study, published by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, examined 769 patients who had undergone primary total hip replacement (THR) or total knee replacement (TKR). About 18% lived alone, all of whom were discharged home for outpatient rehab. Of these, almost 80% had friends or family nearby that could help provide support if necessary. 

Overall, there was no significant difference in complications, pain, functional outcomes, or patient satisfaction scores between people who lived alone and those who lived with others after the surgery. However, when recovering at home instead of spending an extra night at a hospital, patients saved an average of $10,776, amounting to almost $1.5 million total. Patients recovering at home were also found to avoid other complications — such as infections and blood clots — that they might experience in a rehab facility. 

“We found that patients living alone were able to safely recover without any increase in the rate of complications,” said Dr. William J. Hozack, an orthopedic surgeon who presented the study at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Even more strikingly, patients were generally happy and content being in the comfort of their own home during recovery.” 

Recent Australian research corroborated these results. To test whether a rehab facility offered more benefits than a home-based program, the research team randomly selected 81 knee replacement patients who received both inpatient postoperative rehabilitation and home-based care, and 84 who only received home-based care. There were no differences in pain, function, or quality of life six months after surgery between the groups. 

These studies conclude that given the emotional benefits, the lack of complications, and the cost savings, outpatient recovery can have beneficial hip and knee surgical outcomes for total joint replacement patients who live alone. 

Struggling with joint pain? Interested in learning more about your post-surgical options? Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, specializes in procedures including total knee replacement. Contact his office today.

Hip Replacement – Performing the Anterior Approach

Considering a hip replacement is no easy decision. There are various procedures in the orthopedic marketplace. There are 3 common approaches to the hip replacement. The Posterior Approach is the most common traditional approach. The lateral approach has a lower dislocation risk but a much higher incidence of limp after surgery. I have been performing the anterior approach for total hip replacement for years. In fact, I am the only orthopedic surgeon in Kirkland, WA that performs this procedure.

How does the anterior approach to total hip replacement differ from the traditional hip replacement surgery? For one, the anterior approach is a tissue-sparing alternative. The approach to the hip from the front does not involve cutting any major structures to get to the hip. Instead, the interval between two muscles is separated, leading to the hip capsule. I work between your muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the pelvis or thighbones – sparing the tissue from trauma. The traditional posterior approach from the back requires dividing the gluteus maximus (butt) muscle and splitting part of the ilio-tibial band on the side of the hip and then cutting several small tendons off the back of the hip.

Many surgeons are hesitant to perform the anterior approach because it is new since their training. The special equipment necessary to perform this anterior hip approach has only been popularizer in the past 5 years. This approach is through a much smaller incision and is technically demanding. The anterior approach uses a special table called a Hana table that allows me to position the leg in a very specific way to place the hip components. All of the operating room staff and my assistants are used to doing this hip replacement approach.

Benefits to the anterior approach for hip replacement include:

  • Faster postoperative rehabilitation, recovery time and improved mobility – The muscle tissues are spared during the surgical procedure
  • Less pain – No hip precautions when at home like having to put a pillow between the legs when at rest
  • Limping is eliminated on average 16 days after anterior hip approach vs. 24 days after a posterior approach. Pain relief is faster, 98% of patients are off narcotics 2 weeks after an anterior approach, vs. 70% off narcotics after a posterior approach.
  • Agility – There are no restrictions on hip flexion after an anterior approach.

If you are considering hip replacement and would like more information, please call me at 425-823-400 or email me at ProOrthoAppointment@proliancesurgeons.com to schedule an appointment.