What is Joint Replacement Therapy? - Marpole Physiotherapy

Gordon Bohlmann, BSc (PT), CGIMS, OMT, BSc HMS, Physiotherapist, discusses joint replacement therapy.

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Gordon Bohlmann, BSc (PT), CGIMS, OMT, BSc HMS, Physiotherapist, discusses joint replacement therapy.
Video transcript

Featuring Gordon Bohlmann, BSc (PT), CGIMS, OMT, BSc HMS
Marpole Physiotherapy Clinic
Duration: 2 minutes, 59 seconds

As we age the weight-bearing joints, particularly of the lower limbs such as the hip and the knee, become worn and torn or wear out basically as a result of the loads that are put on them during our lives.

And as this happens joints will become painful and swollen, the range of movement will become restricted. And if you get to the point where the pain and the dysfunction from this wear and tear process gets and stops you from being able to live your life, then your surgeon who's an orthopedic surgeon will tend to think about a joint replacement.

Joints that are commonly replaced are the hip and the knee joints. Less commonly we need to have intervention in the lumbar spine, but very common are hip and knee replacements and when we're talking about the knee joint we're talking about having the weight-bearing surface of the knee replaced.

So the lower part of the leg is called the tibia and this is the femur. The important things to consider are that once the joint surfaces that are arthritic have been replaced you'll be left with a knee that is very functional in terms of the joint, but what will be needing rehabilitation is the muscle system.

So we talk about the quadriceps muscle, which run down the leg and attach into the knee cap or the patella. We talk about the hamstring muscles which come down the backside of the leg and attach below the knee, as well as the calf muscles which run down the lower part of the limb to the foot.

And so joint replacement surgery is a very good way to being able to being more functional and have less pain. But because knee replacement and hip replacements only last for 10 to 15 years it's very important to make sure that you see a physiotherapist to determine what exercises are applicable for you, both before surgery to strengthen the muscles of the quadriceps and the hamstrings which would be at the back, as well as the calf muscles, as well as post-surgically you would need to learn how to use that new joint in the optimal way.

It's very common for patients to develop means of compensating with an arthritic painful joint so, perhaps walk differently or learn to weight bear differently, and so it's a physiotherapists responsibility to educate them about these dysfunctions and help them to become more functional and lead a pain-free life again.

A common concern for patients considering joint replacement surgery is what the activity levels will be like post surgery and so it is possible to participate in many different types of sport. Usually the considerations that the physiotherapist will need to take into consideration are things such as overall body condition and muscle strength around the joint that's being replaced.

So it's a really good idea for you to discuss this with your local physiotherapist and determine an action plan to get you back to the sport that you love.

You might visit a physiotherapist for information on what is, conditions, side effects, symptoms and treatments related to joint replacement therapy, joint replacement surgery, arthritis exercises and home rehabilitation exercises.

Find more info on hip pain caused by different factors.

Presenter: Gordon Bohlmann, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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