Counties Manukau Health Orthopaedics
Public Service, Orthopaedics
Joint replacement surgery is commonly required to treat joints which are worn out from arthritis or 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, titanium) and plastic surfaces (high density polyethylene) or ceramic which act as alternative bearing surfaces for the damaged joint. The surgeon will discuss the specifics of your operation with you at the time of assessment and booking of surgery.
These operations are major procedures which require the patient to be in hospital for several days and are followed by a significant period of rehabilitation at home. Occasionally blood transfusions are required; if you have some concerns raise this with your surgeon during consultation.
All patients waiting to have a joint replacement must be given clearance by an anaethetist before surgery can proceed. Either by reviewing your file or arranging for you to be seen at an outpatient clinic for an assessment. See Pre-Admission Clinic heading.
Your surgeon may defer surgery if you have any signs of infection, i.e. bad teeth, bladder or skin infection. Ensure your GP is aware that you are waiting for a joint replacement and they will treat any health concerns. If you are having problems with your teeth, arrange to see your dentist for a check-up and treatment.