Joint Replacement Center at NYP - Hudson Valley Hospital

1. How do I know if I am a candidate for a hip or knee replacement?

Only your doctor can tell if you are a candidate for surgery.  We look at the whole picture of your symptoms, physical exam and xray findings.  It is then a quality of life decision by the patient and the patient decides if they want to proceed with surgery.

2. How long will I be out of work?

On average 4-6 weeks but it depends on your job.  More sedentary professions can go back to work sooner, while laborers may need more time.

3. How long before I can drive?

If surgery is on your left leg, you can drive when you no longer take painkillers during the day.  For right leg surgeries 3-6 weeks depending on the procedure.

4. How much pain will I have?

The goal is to minimize pain so you can do the exersices and physical therapy.  We work with the anesthesiolgists to keep patients as comfortable as possible.  It is surgery, and we are cutting bone so some pain is inevitable regardless of surgeon, technique, approach, etc. 

5. Do I need to have tests done before I come to the office?

No tests need to be done before being seen in the office.  Xrays can be done in all offices.  If you already have Xrays or MRIs bring the actual films and reports with you to your appointment.

6. How long will I be in the hospital?

Usually about 3 days after surgery.  You leave when you are medically and physically ready, not before.

7. Do I have to go to a rehabilitation center?

No.  You may go home with a Physical Therapist coming to your house 3 times  a week until you are ready to start outpatient therapy.

8. Do I have to donate blood?

Usually not.  Blood from the bloodbank is extremely safe.  Techniques have become less invasive and the need for transfusion after surgery is not as common as in the past.  Talk to your surgeon about your options.

9 What type of materials are the implants made out of?

Most implants are made of titanium or cobalt chromium with a polyethylene or ceramic bearing surface.

10. Will it be like having my own joint again?

Hips and partial knee replacements feel very natural over time.  Total knee replacements perform extremely well but often do not feel as perfect as a non-replaced healthy knee. 

11. How long before I can resume normal activities?

Usually 4-6 weeks.  Sometimes sooner depending on the procedure.

12. Will I need Physical Therapy?

Most patients require some period of physical therapy.

13. How long do the artificial joints last?

Today's implants are made extremely well.  In the lab they last over 30 years.  The implants must be placed accurately though in order to last as long as possible.  Therefore make sure you see an experienced surgeon who specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery!

14. What happens if it wears out?

Usually just the bearing surface may need to be changed, like a "tune-up".  If the entire implant loosens then the entire replacement may need to be redone.

15. Will I need special equipment at home and how do I get it?

For hip replacements, elevated toilet seats help.  For hips and knees reachers and shower chairs may help.  Most devices will be arranged for by the hospital or rehabilitation facility or can be purchased in the hospital gift shop.

16. What are the pros and cons of putting off surgery?

By putting off surgery you avoid the risks of surgery.  By waiting you are losing out on improvement of quality of life!

17. Does Dr. Russinoff do anterior hip surgery?

NO!  Contrary to media reports, anterior hip surgery has been documented in the scientific literature as having higher complication rates with more blood loss and longer surgical times and exposure to radiation.  Dr. Russinoff does a minimally invasive posterolateral approach.  Patients do extremely well minimal risk of hip dislocation and no restrictions postoperatively.