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Sharp Health News

Find lasting relief for your knee and hip pain

Sept. 23, 2022

Couple outdoors walking dog

What would you do if you found out the chronic pain you experience daily could be relieved? Wouldn’t it be nice to comfortably take a short walk or simply bend over to tie your shoe?

Dr. Scott Hacker, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Sharp Coronado Hospital and Sharp Grossmont Hospital, says it’s possible. If you have arthritis of the hip or knee and haven't experienced adequate results with medication or other conservative treatment options, precision joint replacement may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

“Chronic joint pain and stiffness can be debilitating,” Dr. Hacker says. “However, there are excellent surgical treatment options for hip and knee replacement, including Mako, a robotic-arm assisted surgery that is currently only available in San Diego at Sharp Coronado and Sharp Grossmont hospitals.”

According to Dr. Hacker, Mako robotic surgery uses 3D modeling to create a personalized surgical plan, preserving more healthy bone, tissue and ligaments. The end result can allow you to get back to the activities you love.

About arthritis and joint replacement surgery
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a chronic, degenerative joint disease that becomes more common with age. Osteoarthritis of the hips and knees are the most disabling forms this condition, leading to the loss of mobility and pain when walking even short distances.

People with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee may find relief with various medications and nonsurgical treatments. These include:

  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation — easily remembered with the mnemonic device "RICE"
  • Weight loss
  • Activity modification (use of a cane or walker)
  • Physical therapy with a focus on range of motion, strengthening and gait training
  • Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Prescription medications
  • Cortisone or "gel" injections

Eventually, however, many patients find that the disability becomes uncontrollable and, together with their doctor, decide to have partial or total joint replacement surgery. Following their recovery, most patients enjoy regained mobility, relief from pain, and the ability to return to the highest level of function and independence possible.

Most patients go home the same day as the procedure and are walking within hours of surgery. On average, full recovery can be achieved in six weeks or just two to three weeks after partial knee replacement. Fifteen years post-surgery, 97% of recipients report the procedure remains a successful treatment for their joint pain and mobility issues.

“Living with arthritis means frequent episodes of joint pain and stiffness and limits to your quality of life,” Dr. Hacker says. “There are many treatment options to manage symptoms as well as surgical options with advanced technology. Talk with your doctor about which treatment plan is right for you.”

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