Skip to main content

For Patients

Understanding Your Options

To determine whether a joint replacement is right for you, your surgeon will conduct a pre-operative evaluation that includes a review of your medical history, a physical exam, laboratory tests and extensive diagnostic testing. 

For your convenience, we’ll schedule testing and a pre-op education class on the same day. Our team will answer your questions and tell you everything you need to know about joint replacement. You’ll receive written materials to reinforce what you’ve learned, to keep you on track before your operation and to help you plan for your recovery. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who should consider joint replacement, and is it a common procedure?
A: Candidates for joint replacement experience chronic joint pain, most often from osteoarthritis. If pain interferes with your daily routine and non-surgical treatments aren’t providing relief, you should consider talking to a Montefiore Nyack Hospital orthopedic surgeon about joint replacement surgery. Every year, over 500,000 people undergo joint replacement surgery to relieve pain and disability and restore their independence and quality of life.

Q: Am I too old for joint replacement surgery?
A: If you’re in reasonably good health and want to continue living a productive, active life, age isn’t an issue.

Q: Am I too young for joint replacement surgery?
A: Patients experiencing severe joint degeneration in middle adulthood are considering joint replacement in greater numbers than before. Advancements in materials and techniques have made surgery a more viable option for those who, even several years ago, would have waited until they were older.

Q: How long will my new joint replacement last?
A: The lifespan of a prosthetic joint varies, depending on the individual and his/her lifestyle. While there are no guarantees that an implant will last for a specific length of time, today’s prosthetic knee joints commonly last between 10 and 15 years; hip joints, between 15 and 20 years.

Q: How well do patients recover from the procedure?
A: Joint replacement patients typically recover quickly and can walk soon after surgery. In-hospital physical therapy typically begins the morning after surgery. Most patients are hospitalized for three days after the procedure. Hip patients may need assistive equipment to help them perform activities of daily living while they adapt to their new joint. Patients are discharged with daily physical therapy and visiting nurse follow-up in the comfort of their own home. For those with specific circumstances, a short stay at an inpatient rehabilitation facility may be an option.

Q: After joint replacement surgery, when will I be able to:
A: Drive? About 2–4 weeks
A: Dance? About 4–6 weeks
A: Golf? About 6–12 weeks

Q: What types of hip replacement are available at Montefiore Nyack Hospital?
A: The most common type of hip replacement surgery is called posterior hip replacement. The surgeon makes an incision on the outer portion of the hip to access the hip joint. Recently, a procedure called anterior hip replacement has been gaining in popularity. In this approach, the surgeon makes an incision on the front of the hip joint. Both minimally invasive options are available at The Joint Replacement Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. The relative benefits of each approach should be discussed with your surgeon to decide which is right for you. Regardless of the approach used, your surgeon will use the least invasive option to help you achieve a speedy recovery.

Q: Can I have both knees replaced at the same time?
A: For some, both knees are degenerated to the point that they need replacement. While some patients are candidates to have both knees replaced simultaneously, others will benefit from staged procedures. Both options are available at The Joint Replacement Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital.

Q: Do I really need a total knee replacement, or can a partial knee replacement be performed?
A: Both partial knee replacement and total knee replacement are available at The Joint Replacement Center at Montefiore Nyack Hospital. The decision for partial versus total replacement depends on the amount and location of the arthritis in your knee. This is usually determined by your surgeon based on X-rays taken before scheduling your surgery. This is a very individualized decision and should be discussed with your surgeon.

Q: Will I experience pain?
A: Our anesthesiologists provide individualized care and are available throughout your hospitalization to make sure that you’re kept as comfortable as possible. Advancements in pain management have made joint replacement considerably less uncomfortable than in the past. Advanced pain management techniques can block pain pathways before they're formed, reducing post-surgical pain. With less pain, patients can get moving faster, often leading to a quicker recovery.


More Information

Appointments and Information