Total Joint Replacement Surgeries

When your hip, shoulder or knee pain has started to limit your quality of life (QOL) and activities of daily living (ADLs) it can be time to consult with one of our great surgeons in the area for a joint replacement surgery.  Although these surgeries can be scary and aren’t for everyone, they can bring great relief to the appropriate patients!

Often, patients will try conservative therapies first such as traditional physical therapy (PT), or cortisone and synvisc one injections, but sometimes a new joint is the only option.  If you find yourself in this position you can feel safe in our hands for your preoperative and postoperative therapies!  Remember, the stronger you are going into the surgery the better you will do coming out!

Knee, hip and shoulder replacements have come a long way in recent years and patients are recovering quicker than ever.  Here is a basic overview of each of the total joint arthroplasties that Wasatch Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine is proud to rehabilitate.


Total Knee Replacement (Arthroplasty):

In a TKA the surgeon will resurface the two main areas of your knee joint, the femoral condyles and the tibial plateau.  Some surgeons will replace only one compartment which is less common but referred to as a “unicompartmental knee replacement”.  These new surfaces will allow you to return to your favorite activities without the pain caused by a joint with wear and tear.  Click here for more information on TKAs.

In the right candidates, surgeons in the Salt Lake City area are beginning to complete the “Athletic Knee Replacement” or the ACL sparing replacement.  We have seen great success in these postoperative patients.  Here’s more information regarding this new procedure.

After the surgery you will begin progressive weight-bearing right in the hospital!  You will receive homecare initially, which you can set up with Dan, Brandon, Melissa, Dayton or Omar to see a familiar face.  Physical therapy will start in the clinic once approved by your surgeon and will last approximately 3 months.  
TKA are now extremely common and have excellent outcomes.  Patients usually report a significant improvement in mobility and ability to complete their favorite activities postoperatively.  However, most patients say their knee doesn’t feel “normal” for approximately 1 year.

Total Shoulder Replacement (Arthroplasty):

If shoulder pain is limiting your mobility, activities, self care, work and / or exercise and conservative therapies haven’t brought you the success you desire, a TSA may be for you. Your surgeon will replace the glenoid (socket) and the humeral head (ball) with new hardware. The surgical options for TSA vary greatly and depend on the amount of damage present in your shoulder as well as other external factors. The best procedure for you will be decided by you and your surgeon.


After leaving the hospital you may spend several hours per day in a passive range of motion chair. The aftercare can vary greatly depending on the procedure you choose. After you are cleared to start physical therapy in the clinic (generally around 6 weeks) you can transition to our outpatient orthopedic care. Physical therapy for a TSA can range from 3-6 months depending on the type of surgery and the preoperative conditions.


Click here for more information on TSAs.

Total Hip Recement (Arplathroplasty):

Patients who are suffering from arthritic hips for a variety of reasons are now choosing a THA to improve their quality of life.  Patients who undergo a THA often have pain and stiffness altering their daily activities such as getting dressed, standing up from a chair, putting on their shoes, navigating the stairs or going for a walk and doing their favorite activities.  You and your surgeon will decide the best option for you and we will be here to help in your pre and post operative recovery.  Generally, recovery from a THA is a fast 6-8 weeks with therapy. 

Your surgeon will replace the acetabulum (socket) and the femoral head (ball) with new hardware and you will begin progressive weight bearing immediately after surgery.  You will receive homecare initially, which you can set up with Dan, Brandon, Melissa, Dayton or Omar to see a familiar face. 
Hip replacements have come a long way in the last decade.  Now, with the anterolateral (front and side) approach (for appropriate candidates) the old concerns about hip replacements and dislocations are almost extinct!

Click here to learn more information about THA.


Dos and don’ts of surgery

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