Capital & Coast DHB Orthopaedic Service
Hip and Knee Joint Replacement
For elderly patients joint replacement surgery is commonly required to treat joints damaged by wear and tear or by other forms of joint disease including rheumatoid arthritis. In these procedures the damaged joint surface is removed and replaced with artificial surfaces normally made from metal (chromium cobalt alloy), plastic (high high molecular weight density polyethelene) or ceramic, which act as alternate bearing surfaces for the damaged joint.
These operations are major procedures which require the patient to be in hospital for 4 or 5 days and followed by a period of rehabilitation. The specifics for the procedure will be covered at the time of booking of surgery and at preassessment.
Part of the booking process involves obtaining a consent for surgery. You will at some point be informed about the nature of the procedure and the significant risks of the operation. You will also be given some indication of nonsurgical options that may be available to you for your condition.
Occasionally blood transfusions are required after replacement of big joints (hip and knee). If you have some concerns raise these with your surgeon during consultation.