Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint Replacements in New Jersey

Many types of joint pains are either caused by an injury or a natural part of the aging process. While many issues related to the joint can be managed with noninvasive therapies and treatments, other more serious conditions and injuries may require surgical intervention to manage pain and restore functionality.

What is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery is a type of orthopedic surgery in which an arthritic or dysfunctional joint surface is replaced with an orthopedic prosthesis. For many people, it allows them to live more active lives without pain.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, joint replacement surgeries are on the rise, possibly because of an increase in:

  • Life expectancy. Osteoarthritis, which is often associated with age, is the most common cause of joint replacements, so this increase could be associated with increased life expectancies.
  • Obesity. Extra weight on the body adds pressure to the bones and joints, and there has been a rise in obesity in the past few decades.

Replacement joint components and surgical techniques have evolved and improved significantly over time. Implants are more wear-resistant, so they last longer than earlier versions. Minimally invasive procedures have made it possible for patients to go home faster and recover more quickly than in the past. Younger patients are now considered candidates for joint replacement surgery.

As the largest health system in the state, RWJBarnabas Health offers a variety of comprehensive joint replacement surgeries in New Jersey. Led by board-certified orthopedic surgeons and physicians, we guide patients through every stage of their joint replacement journey, from preoperative preparation to at-home recovery.

With investments in the latest technologies, including state-of-the-art robotic surgical systems, we offer safer, less-invasive joint surgeries with faster recovery times.

Joint Replacement Surgeries Offered at RWJBarnabas Health

If you are dealing with an inherited orthopedic condition, a congenital deformity, a joint injury or joint degeneration, and have not received relief from other therapies, joint replacement surgery may be an option for you. Some of our joint replacement surgery options include:

  • Anterior hip replacement surgery. This minimally invasive approach to hip replacement spares the muscle and allows for less painful and faster postoperative recovery time.
  • Partial knee replacement and total knee replacement. Knee damage that is confined to one area can be treated with a partial knee replacement, which is performed with more minimally invasive techniques. A total knee replacement is considered after conservative treatment has failed to treat serious injuries, damage and pain.
  • Partial and total shoulder replacement surgery. Shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged joint tissue and bone with an artificial ball and socket. When a total shoulder replacement is not necessary, a hemiarthroplasty, or partial shoulder replacement is performed, which involves removing only the damaged parts of the shoulder with prosthetics.
  • Robotic assisted joint replacement surgery, including MAKOplasty. This revolutionary technology allows surgeons to perform partial knee and total hip procedures with an extremely high level of precision. This can allow for shorter hospital stays, a quicker recovery time and a more natural feel.
  • Elbow replacement surgery. This involves surgically removing the bones of the elbow joint and replacing them with a high–quality metal joint that mimics natural movements.
  • Wrist replacement surgery. Also known as arthroplasty, this surgery replaces your wrist joint, which connects your hand to your arm.
  • Same-day joint surgery. Our board-certified surgeons use less-invasive techniques to avoid certain muscles and tissues, which allows the patient to go home hours after surgery.

What to Expect When Having Joint Replacement Surgery

When other therapies do not provide pain relief, joint replacement surgery is often an important part of regaining your mobility. Lifestyle adjustments made before and after the surgery are critical in helping your body prepare for and adjust to your joint replacement prosthesis. Your joint surgery plan of care at RWJBarnabas Health may include:

  • Preoperative education. Your medical team will carefully explain what to expect before, during and after your surgery and provide you with educational material for further explanation. Preoperative education classes may be also be available.
  • Exercise. Your surgeon may instruct you on performing exercises to strengthen your body in preparation for surgery. After your surgery, a physical therapist may coach you on new exercises to help you recover faster.
  • Medication. If your orthopedist has recommended joint surgery, it is likely that medication is no longer producing the pain relief you need. After your surgery, however, pain medication may help you during post-operative recovery. You should only take medications that have been approved by your orthopedist and take them only as prescribed.
  • Discharge planning. We strive to fully prepare our patients for home recovery after their operation. We provide thorough instructions on caring for your surgical wound, reviewing which, if any, medications you should be taking, and which activities to avoid while you are in recovery. We strongly recommend that you have someone at home to assist you with food prep, using the bathroom and other daily living tasks.

What to Expect After Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement is a major surgery and it may take a while for your body to adapt to the new implant. To help patients acclimate, we often recommend physical therapy or occupational therapy after joint surgery. Working one-on-one with a rehab therapist to create a customized recovery plan that includes exercise, diet building and other practices can help with mobility and comfort.

The RWJBarnabas Health Difference

RWJBarnabas Health believes that educating our patients in their preparation for surgery is the key to more effective recoveries.

We understand that undergoing joint replacement surgery is a big step. It can be overwhelming. Our dedicated orthopedic surgeons, physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, care coordinators and medical professionals will be by your side every step of the way.

We make a point to counsel our patients to address their questions and concerns prior to surgery, which is beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety about the upcoming procedure. We offer educational materials and preoperative classes to prepare you for what to expect. We are part of your recovery team to support you on your journey to a better quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have additional questions? Please read our FAQ page dedicated to joint replacement surgery.

Do you feel that joint replacement may be right for you? Make an appointment with one of our compassionate orthopedic doctors today.


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