Is It Safe to Delay Hip Replacement Surgery?

If you are experiencing hip pain due to osteoarthritis, you may be wondering when it is time to consider surgery and if it is safe for you to delay surgical interventions. As we age, arthritis progresses, and the pain can become severe.

Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful surgeries done today. Does that mean you should get one as soon as you feel pain in your hip? Not quite, say the experts. In many cases osteoarthritis pain can be managed with physiotherapy, a weight loss regimen, modifying your activities and taking anti-inflammatory over the counter medications. These conservative approaches may work for some time.

However, if your pain is so severe that you are experiencing it while resting, its time to talk to an orthopedic surgeon. Arthritis of the joint can not only cause pain in the hip but also in the knee, groin, lower back and buttocks. If the pain and inflammation begin affecting your ability to do daily activities and you are no longer able to take shorter walks, get dressed or put shoes on without debilitating pain, you may want to seek a hip replacement surgery.

Waiting too long has consequences. The surgery can be less effective because due to all the limited mobility and activity, your overall health can worsen. People that are going into surgery healthier tend to have better outcomes. Badly deteriorated joints can make surgery more difficult to perform, requiring special skill and additional physiotherapy afterwards.

Most hip replacement implants last 10 to 20 years. For many people, that means that if they got their hip replacement in their early 60-ies, it would last them for the rest of their lives. The concerns of having a revision surgery somewhere down the road should be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon. Surgeons and patients should work together to ensure the best outcome.

If you are placed on a long waiting list for surgery and are unable to see an orthopedic specialist in the public system, we can help connect you to a private option for your total hip replacement. We can get your X-ray reviewed by an orthopedic surgeon in a private, no wait manner.  Give us a call toll-free 877 344 3544 and find out your private total hip replacement options in the US and Canada.

Is It Safe to Delay Private Knee Replacement?

Arthritis can damage our joints as we age. In some cases, the pain is so severe that one has to get a total knee replacement. This joint replacement surgery corrects the worn our knee surfaces and the mechanics in knee movement. The ideal result is a pain-free, stable and aligned joint.

Delaying total knee replacement can have negative effects on postoperative outcomes and recovery. Arthritis is a progressive disease and damages knee joints over time. The more damage occurs the more your body will need to adapt to a new “damaged” condition of your knee. Sometimes these adaptations create deformities of the knee joint and stretch out the ligaments of the knee. As a result, the movements of your limbs become irregular, muscles and bones get weaker and there is more pressure put on other parts of your body such as the ankle, hip and spine.

On the other hand, having a total knee replacement too early can result in revision surgery somewhere down the road. Studies show that the younger you are at the time of total knee replacement the more likely it is that you will need revision surgery. Revision surgeries are complex, require specialized skill and the outcomes are rarely as good as the initial surgery.

The decision to delay your total knee replacement is a personal one and should be discussed with your orthopedic surgeon in detail. In some instances, it is safe to delay the surgery and manage arthritis pain conservatively. Losing weight is among one of those measures. It can relieve the stress your body has on your knee joint. A study done with overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. Yet another study showed that losing 10–20 percent of starting body weight improved pain, function, and quality of life better than losing just five percent of body weight.

However, if your pain is long-lasting, is present when you are resting and is interfering with your day to day activities, it is time to talk to a doctor about possible surgery. Surgeons and patients should work together to ensure the best outcome.

If you are placed on a long waiting list and are unable to see an orthopedic specialist in the public system, we can help connect you to a private option for your total knee replacement. We can get your X-ray reviewed by an orthopedic surgeon in a private, no wait manner. Give us a call toll-free 877 344 3544 and find out your private total knee replacement options in the US and Canada.

Knee Replacement Improvements

The expertise for knee replacements have improved leaps and bounds over the years.  What used to require a 4-5 day hospital stay is a thing of the past. Knee replacements can now be done on an out patient basis.  They have you up and walking within hours of your surgery.

The surgery centers we work with are able to do newer techniques which provide huge benefits.  There are virtually zero complications.  Getting you up and moving so quickly helps keep the circulation moving which creates less potential for a blood clot.
The facilities are spotless.  Their cleaning protocols have resulted in less than a 1% chance of getting a surgery related infection. The incisions are much smaller which also creates less chance for infection at the wound site.
Opioids used to be routinely given to patients dealing with knee pain.  They have gotten a lot stricter on who and how much they prescribe due to addiction concerns.  Any surgery is painful and you almost always need some sort of pain medication post op to handle the pain.  One of our facilities in particular has created a program that begins prior to surgery to reduce the need for opioids.   A high percentage of their patients do not even need opioids post op.  Avoiding opioids not only prevents an addiction, it also provides less chance for side effects such as dizziness, nausea or constipation.
Other countries such as India may be able to offer a lower cost for a knee replacement.  Buyer beware, you sometimes get what you pay for.  Not only is it a significant flight and travel time which can increase your chances of a blood clot and uncomfortableness in sitting still for hours, many of these facilities can not provide the same benefits that they can in the US and Canada.
If you are considering a private knee replacement, contact Health Vantis to find out your options. We have several reasonably priced facilities that can do a safe, affordable and state of the art surgery.
Health Vantis
877-344-3544
info@healthvantis.com

Hip Replacement Improvements

The expertise for hip replacements have improved leaps and bounds over the years.  What used to require a 4-5 day hospital stay is a thing of the past. Hip replacements can now be done on an out patient basis.  They have you up and walking within hours of your surgery.

The surgery centers we work with are able to do newer techniques which provide huge benefits.  There are virtually zero complications.  Getting you up and moving so quickly helps keep the circulation moving which creates less potential for a blood clot.
The facilities are spotless.  Their cleaning protocols have resulted in less than a 1% chance of getting a surgery related infection. The incisions are much smaller which also creates less chance for infection at the wound site.
Opioids used to be routinely given to patients dealing with hip pain.  They have gotten a lot stricter on who and how much they prescribe due to addiction concerns.  Any surgery is painful and you almost always need some sort of pain medication post op to handle the pain.  One of our facilities in particular has created a program that begins prior to surgery to reduce the need for opioids.   A high percentage of their patients do not even need them post op.  Avoiding opioids not only prevents an addiction, it also provides less chance for side effects such as dizziness, nausea or constipation.
Other countries such as India may be able to offer a lower cost for a hip replacement.  Buyer beware: You sometimes get what you pay for.  Not only is it a significant flight and travel time which can increase your chances of a blood clot and uncomfortableness in sitting still for hours, many of these facilities can not provide the same benefits that they can in the US and Canada.
If you are considering a private hip replacement, contact Health Vantis to find out your options. We have several reasonably priced facilities that offer a safe, affordable and state of the art surgery.
Health Vantis
877-344-3544
info@healthvantis.com

Orthopedic Wait Times in Canada 2020

In our previous blog we talked about 2020 medical wait times in Canada. In this blog, we will look in more details at one of the 12 specialities examined by Fraser Institute – Orthopaedics.

Across Canada, for orthopaedics, the total wait time in 2020 was 34.1 weeks. This is a decrease of 5 weeks, compared to 2019 when the wait was 39.1 weeks. Chart 1 shows Orthopedic surgery wait times 10 years back and also includes 1993 when it was 19.5 weeks.

The report further breaks down wait times into two different segments. Segment 1 is the wait time from referral by a general practitioner to consultation with a specialist. Segment 2 is the wait time from the consultation with a specialist to point at which a patient receives treatment.

The wait time from GP to a specialist was 13.2, again, less than in 2019 when it was 14.6. The wait time from specialist to treatment was 20.9 weeks down from 24.5 weeks in 2019. Although it is one of the longest wait time for the 12 specialities surveyed in 2020 (shared by Plastic Surgery and Ophthalmology), it is definitely an improvement over the last year.

As far as which province fares the best, the report lists ON, where the median patient wait to see a specialist after referral from GP takes 8 weeks, and median wait to get treatment after the appointment with a specialist is 18.2 weeks. In other words, the median time to get an orthopaedic surgery in Ontario is 26.2 weeks. The province of Saskatchewan came very close, it takes longer to see a specialist (median 20 weeks), but faster to get surgery (6.3 weeks) a total of 26.3 weeks.

The longest wait time was in NS – a total of 57.6 weeks from referral by GP to surgery. Please refer to Chart 2 for the rest of the Canadian provinces numbers.

If you are unwilling to wait and would like to explore your private options, we are here to connect you to a reputable medical facility in the US or Canada. Give us a call to find out your options – toll-free 877 344 3544

Chart 1

Chart 2

Recovery After Private Knee or Hip Replacement

If you are going for joint replacement surgery, one of the things that could be on your mind is your recovery time. Knowing how long it will take is helpful to set the right expectations about your mobility and activity levels. Unfortunately, there is not an exact answer to this.

In general, a complete recovery for a knee replacement is 3-12 months and for a hip replacement is 2-6 months.  Complete recovery means that the surgical wounds and soft tissue are healed, you feel well enough to return to your activities, and your joint’s functions and range of motion are considerably improved. As you can see the range of time is quite wide.

Speedy recovery depends on many things. One of the more important ones is your overall health going into surgery. Another one is the level of your physical fitness prior to surgery. When arthritis attacks, our mobility is decreased, and therefore we use fewer muscles and they deteriorate.

Your overall health and your level of fitness can both be improved prior to surgery. Losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and eating a well-balanced and healthy diet are within our control. After meeting with your doctor, discuss what you can do to be better prepared.

Pre-hab is widely recommended nowadays for people who will be undergoing joint replacement surgery. It is an exercise program, with a physiotherapist, that you would do before the surgery to get your muscles in a better shape, thus allowing a faster recovery. Many physiotherapists offer it.

Joint replacement is one of the safest surgeries. Recovery from it requires commitment and realistic expectations on your side. There is always someone who could say they were back to playing golf 5 weeks after surgery, but everyone is different. Discuss the recovery with your doctor and be prepared to work hard at helping your body heal after.

 

Tips For a Faster Joint Replacement Recovery

Tips For a Faster Joint Replacement Recovery

Joint replacements used to leave people in agonizing pain taking weeks, sometimes months to recover.  It was not uncommon to be hospitalized 3 to 7 days.  Now, newer techniques allow for the patient to be up and walking right after surgery and to be released from the hospital on the same day.  The goal in getting someone up and moving right away benefits the patient in a huge way.  They are less likely to develop blood clots, experience increased pain and lose muscle mass.

Do not mistake this for an easy ride though.  There is still a lot of work that goes in before, during, and after the surgery.  The more prepared you are, the better  your outcome will be.  Keeping everyone involved, ie. support person, facilitator, surgeon, nursing staff and anesthesiologist, all on the same page will only benefit you.  Here are some things you can do to make your recovery go faster:

  • Set realistic expectations on your recovery BEFORE you even have the surgery.  Go in to it knowing it will take time for you to heal.  Research shows that even though you feel great and are able to get around fairly easy, the muscle tissues and bone still take a full 6 weeks to heal properly.  For some, it can be even more than 6 weeks.  Keeping that in mind will prepare you mentally to accept that you will not be running a marathon within a month’s time after your joint replacement.  
  • Eat a healthy diet, stop smoking and continue a strengthening exercise routine before the big day.  Doing this will have you fit and healthy for surgery.  By continuing the exercise or physiotherapy prior to the surgery, you will be that much more ahead of the game when you start the routine back up.
  • Prepare your home ahead of time before the surgery.  Making some meals you can keep in the freezer will make eating time less stressful and easier.  Get your sleeping area set up.   For example, if your bedroom is in an upstairs area, it might make more sense to set something up downstairs for a couple of days until you feel like you can safely climb stairs.  Clear away any unnecessary items on the floor to prevent the chance of tripping over them.
  • Most importantly, ALWAYS do what your doctor has instructed and follow through with any preparation required or limitations they have set for you. 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.ca

Anterior or Posterior Approach to Hip Replacement: What Is Right For You?

We wrote about private hip replacements a few times in our blogs. As new techniques or robotic are introduced, our clients want to know their options. We explained the SuperPATH technique in hip replacement. In another blog, we talked about the use of robotics.

There are a couple of surgical approaches to hip replacement. In this blog, we mention both posterior and anterior approaches. In the past, there were studies claiming that the anterior approach had better outcomes.

A recent study of patients treated at HSS (Hospital for Special Surgery) looked at 138 patients who had total hip replacements and were discharged the same day. Half of the group had an anterior and the other half had a posterior total hip replacement. Age, sex and body mass index of each group were matched. They found that the outcomes did not differ significantly. Time to walking, length of surgery, pain at discharge and rates of complications/readmissions at 90 days post-surgery were similar.

From our conversations with different orthopaedic surgeons, what matters is the surgeon expertise at a certain approach. The number of surgeries that she or he did in the past, years in practice and surgeries per year are usually the stats we look at and provide to our clients to help them make a better decision. We also set up a phone call with doctors so that they can better explain how they do surgeries.

In your initial consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon, it will be determined if you are a good candidate for the same-day discharge and usually that depends on your general health. The doctor will also go over what is suitable for you and what to expect. This is an opportunity to ask questions about different approaches and what is right for you.

If you are interested in setting up a virtual consultation with one of the orthopaedic surgeons we work with, please give us a call toll-free 1 877 344 3544.

Microport for Hip Replacements

Hip replacement surgeries are very common.  Many people experience numbness and weakness after the surgery.  New technology may be able to eliminate this with a new technique called Microport.  

Doing an anterior approach has become a popular way to do hip replacement surgery.  The anterior approach was designed to preserve the muscles that prevent dislocation of the hip post surgery. During surgery, an incision is made over the cup and the hip is typically dislocated. This allows for the ball to be cut off easily before putting the implant in. Although, by doing the incision over the cup, it makes it harder to see the ball part of the hip.  

Dr. Matt Seidel has come up with a way to avoid this.  He has developed a technique where a cannula, a thin tube, can be placed through an incision in the groin.  The advantage to moving the incision allows the surgeon to clean out the cup without having to put an incision right over it. This approach avoids dislocation of the hip during surgery by cutting the ball off first and then removing it from the socket.  

Microport also provides a lower risk of cutting sensory nerves, which would cause numbness.  It moves the procedure away from the femoral nerves that lower the chances of weakness even further.  Doing a more natural incision allows for fewer wound complications and reduces pain levels by quicker healing.  

If you are interested in this technique, contact Health Vantis and we can connect you to a surgeon trained to do this technique at 877-344-3544.

Health Vantis

877-344-3544

www.healthvantis.ca

New Digital Device for Knee Replacement Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy after a knee replacement is absolutely essential for a successful rehabilitation.  A new digital support device is currently being developed to assist in this.  It is a mobile app  that will make information about the knee available to the physiotherapist.  It will allow them to closely monitor the progress and amend the rehabilitation plan accordingly.  

The technology is designed for the patient to wear the device on their ankle after surgery.  It links to their smart phone to analyze the range of knee movement progression and any pain associated with it.  The information is sent to the physiotherapist to give them a clear picture of the patients’ progress and any issues they may be having.  Patients are also able to bring any concerns to their physiotherapist via the app from the comfort of their own home.  

Trials are currently being done and the hope is to streamline the recovery process so be looking for more information in the coming months!

 

Health Vantis

877-344-3544

www.healthvantis.ca