Advances in Knee Replacements

This new design allows surgeons to preserve the important central ligaments of the knee called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. This design should allow a knee replacement to move, respond, and feel more like a normal knee.

Learn more about Advances in Knee Replacements »

The Anterior Hip

Patients are being told by both surgeons and orthopedic implant companies that Anterior Hip Replacement approach offers something unique and different compared to other approaches. This is a flatly untrue, unscientifically supported myth...

Learn more about Anterior Hip »

Outpatient Joint Replacement

With Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery, patients are able to return home the same day as the procedure. Patients also begin physical therapy within hours of surgery.

Learn more about Outpatient Joint Replacement »

Pre-Operative Joint Replacement FAQ

  1. What is the reason for pursuing joint replacement surgery?
  2. What is the method of performing joint replacement surgery?
  3. Are there any alternatives to this surgery?
  4. Will I need to modify my lifestyle in any way before surgery?
  5. How long is the post-operative recovery period expected to last?

1. What is the reason for pursuing joint replacement surgery?

Patients will pursue joint replacement when arthritis becomes a limiting factor in their everyday activities. Arthritis, a wear-and-tear condition that makes joint movement painful, can be managed through conservative treatments in its nascent stages, but once it reaches its end-stage, can be incredibly painful and immobilizing.

In less severe cases of arthritis, surgery is not necessary, and patients are oftentimes able to successfully manage the symptoms through a number of conservative approaches:

  • Activity modification – limiting the occurrence of painful activities
  • Pain medication – over-the-counter NSAIDs and prescription pain medication
  • Cortisone injections – injections directly into the joint that reduce swelling and alleviate pain
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation – exercises performed to strengthen the joint's supporting muscles, tissues, and ligaments
    • Some patients may see success using these treatment options; however, when these treatments fail to alleviate pain and immobility, Dr. Ballard will typically suggest joint replacement surgery to effectively eradicate arthritis.

      Learn more about total joint replacement surgery as a solution to arthritis »

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      2. What is the method of performing joint replacement surgery?

      The joint replacement procedure will vary depending on the joint being replaced and the method chosen by the surgeon. Generally, joint replacement is performed by making an incision at the site of the affected joint, cutting and removing the diseased bone, and replacing it with a prosthetic implant, typically made of metal and hard plastic. This prosthetic implant is meant to mimic the function of the natural knee, and should provide the patient with a similar range of motion after surgery.

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      3. Are there any alternatives to this surgery?

      There are a number of surgical options available for patients interested in joint replacement. Minimally invasive surgery has become increasingly popular, with procedures such as partial knee replacement, MAKOplasty® for partial knee replacement, and minimally invasive hip replacement becoming more commonplace. These surgeries are an alternative to traditional open joint replacement, and aim to reduce the amount of post-operative stress affecting the patient.

      Using smaller incisions, minimally invasive surgeries typically carry the following benefits:

      • Less post-operative pain
      • Less blood loss during surgery
      • Less noticeable, more aesthetic scarring
      • Shorter post-operative recovery period
      Not all patients qualify for minimally invasive surgery, so it is important to speak with Dr. Ballard about potential treatment options for the patient's unique case.

      Schedule an appointment at Dr. Ballard's Oregon City office »

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      4. Will I need to modify my lifestyle in any way before surgery?

      A pre-operative exercise routine is believed to improve post-operative recovery for patients of total knee or hip replacements. No-impact cardiovascular exercises, such as aquatic fitness, recumbent cycling or elliptical machines, can help encourage muscle growth to return to previous levels of strength.

      Patients should be advised not to take on an exercise routine without the supervision or recommendation of a licensed physical therapist. Dr. James Ballard can counsel patients prior to joint replacement surgery and help patients choose physical therapy and rehabilitation options.

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      5. How long is the post-operative recovery period expected to last?

      Though each patient’s recovery rate will differ, joint replacement surgery typically requires at least six months of post-operative rehabilitation. Certain factors encourage a quicker recovery, such as the patient’s pre-operative fitness level, the invasiveness of the surgery, and the patient’s own physiology.

      For more information about post-operative recovery, continue reading »

      Dr. James Ballard is one of Portland's most trusted orthopedic surgeons, and has been recognized three years in a row as a Patient’s Choice recipient. In addition, Dr. Ballard has been honored as one of America’s Most Compassionated Doctors, and as one of Portland’s Top Doctors. Dr. Ballard aims to make every patient as comfortable as possible with the diagnosis and treatment options.

      For a one-on-one consultation to prepare for joint replacement, schedule an appointment at Dr. Ballard's Portland-area office.

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