Dealing with Knee, Hip and Shoulder Pain
Columbus Community Hospital’s Orthopedic Services Department treats a variety of joint pain issues – including those of the knee, hip and shoulder.
Treatment options vary based on the severity of the issue – and could include knee, hip and shoulder replacement surgeries.
Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. Knee replacement surgery attempts to replicate your knee’s natural ability to roll and glide as it bends. Knee replacement is performed when the knee joint has reached a point when painful symptoms can no longer be controlled with nonoperative treatments.
Hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty, is the second most common joint replacement procedure, closely following knee replacement. This surgical procedure has been performed in the United States since the 1960s. Hip replacement is an option when the hip joint has reached a point that painful symptoms can no longer be controlled with nonoperative treatments.
A shoulder replacement restores the worn surfaces of a joint by removing diseased bone ends and resurfacing them with a combination of metal and plastic components. The new shoulder allows a natural, gliding motion of the joint.
Columbus Community Hospital also offers the Tornier Simpliciti™ Shoulder System for shoulder replacement. Please visit the Tornier Simpliciti™ Shoulder System page
of our website to learn more about this innovative treatment option.
Is surgery my only option?
In most cases, your doctor will try conservative treatment first. Medications can be effective at controlling the pain for short periods of time. Mild to moderate pain may be relieved with acetaminophen (Tylenol); nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil); naproxen (Aleve) or aspirin (Bayer). For moderate to severe pain, you would need to see your doctor to get stronger medications such as opioids. Your orthopedic surgeon can also inject steroids into the joint itself to help with the pain and swelling. Physical therapy and exercise can help you to regain some of your lost mobility in the joint and build muscle strength.
How long will I be in the hospital?
The majority of our total joint patients will be in the hospital until they meet criteria to go home (typically one or two days). We encourage our total elective joint replacement patients to go home with outpatient therapy if it is prescribed by their surgeon.
How will my pain be controlled in the hospital?
You will have the opportunity to speak directly to one of our certified nurse anesthetists prior to your surgery. They will help you decide the appropriate anesthetic treatment to be used during your surgery. In general, most of our total joint patients will receive spinal anesthesia, which will numb up the lower half of your torso and legs. It serves as great pain control post-operatively. You may also be a candidate for what is called a femoral and a sciatic nerve block if you are having a total knee surgery. The certified nurse anesthetist will talk to you about that option. Additionally, your surgeon may inject what we refer to as a “joint cocktail” right into your affected joint (hip or knee) during the surgical procedure; this too serves as a good option in controlling pain after surgery.
Will my family be able to visit me every day?
Yes, in fact we strongly suggest that they do. They are a very important part of a fast and successful recovery. We also suggest you pick a coach, who can be anyone you choose. This coach is encouraged to go to therapy and education classes with you, and they are served a lunch with you and your group.
However, we have quiet time from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., during which time, families are encouraged to visit the cafeteria or the gift shop while they allow patients to rest.
How long is my recuperation period?
Recovery can vary from person to person. You will need a two-wheeled walker for approximately two to four weeks after the operation. You will be able to drive a car in about four to six weeks, though you must wait until after your follow-up visit with your surgeon to get his or her approval. Most people gradually increase their activities as their comfort level allows over the next several weeks. For more information on what total joint replacement surgery is like at CCH, visit the Surge Center for Joint Replacement page
of our website.
Columbus Community Hospital
4600 38th Street
Columbus, Nebraska 68602-1800
Dona J. Kudron BSN, RN
Patient Experience Manager