Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I always heard that you should wait as long as possible to have a joint replaced. How long should I wait?
A: If you have significant pain and limitation of activities, the right time to have a joint replacement is now. Technology has extended the longevity of the implants, and it is also easier to revise joints at a later time. With waiting comes decreased activity, weight gain, and resulting health deterioration, which can complicate surgery later on. Talk to your joint replacement specialist about the different types of technology being used and when the best time is to have your joint replaced.
Q: Do you have to be a certain age to get a joint replaced?
A: No. Joint replacements are considered when the cartilage has worn away and there is resulting pain and limitation of activity. While this typically occurs later in life, other factors may contribute to the condition. Joint replacements are routinely performed on people in their forties and fifties who want to return to an active life.
Q: How long will I be in the hospital?
A: The typical hospital stay is three days. You will start physical therapy soon after surgery, getting that new joint moving. The second day you will be ambulating down hallways and learning how to protect your new joint. You should be ready to go on the third day. Some patients need one or two extra days before they feel confident to go home. Patients who have short stay joint replacement may go home the day after surgery. Talk to a joint replacement specialist about short stay approaches.
Q: When will I be able to return to work?
A: Most patients will be able to return to work or normal activity within four to six weeks of surgery. For activities that require a lot of standing or lifting, it may be a little longer.
Q: When can I resume some of my favorite activities?
A: Your activity level during the first months will depend a lot on the procedure you had performed. Some procedures allow for more bending, reaching, and kneeling sooner. You should describe the types of activities you are looking forward to resuming after surgery with your joint replacement specialist to receive a more specific answer.
Q: Will I be able to go straight home after the hospital?
A: Some of our patients go home after leaving Central DuPage Hospital. Others go to a local rehabilitation center for physical therapy and assistive care for one to two weeks. Your plan will depend on your home’s physical environment (such as the number and location of stairs), as well as the availability of someone to assist you at home. CDH has specially trained home health nurses and physical therapists to work with you and your new joint once you go home.
Q. Is it possible to speak to someone about Joint Replacement Surgery?
Yes. We can put you in touch with Joint Alumni from the Bone and Joint Institute at Central DuPage Hospital. Please call (630) 933-6807 today.