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14 Myths About Knee Replacement

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Quality

Myth: Not all hospitals offer the quad-sparing procedure because it might be a risky alternative.

Truth: Virtua surgeons have performed over 4,000 quad-sparing knee replacements. Other providers may not offer it because of the investment in training and facilities to support the quad-sparing technique. It is important to know that Virtua was the first healthcare provider in the Northeast to earn specialty joint replacement certification from the Joint Commission based on outstanding quality. We have maintained this certification annually.

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Age

Myth: You have to be over 60 to consider knee replacement.

Truth: Living with a painful joint that prohibits you from working or participating in normal life activities is an outdated way of thinking. Age is not necessarily a limiting factor. Today’s joint replacements last 25 years or longer and, for most people, will last a lifetime.

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Alignment

Myth: Proper alignment cannot be achieved with minimally invasive quad-sparing knee replacement.

Truth: Virtua surgeons have performed over 4,000 quad-sparing knee replacements without any alignment issues. Studies show that trained surgeons achieve the same alignment as with traditional knee replacement techniques.

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Convenience

Myth: You need to live near the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute to use their services.

Truth: The travel to meet with our surgeons and to visit the Institute is well worth the time. We can recommend you to nearby accommodations and can provide transportation and other local information to make planning the trip easier for you and your family.

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Life of the Joint

Myth: You might have to have another joint replacement during your lifetime.

Truth: Most total knee replacements will last at least 25 years or longer, and many will last a lifetime. The quality of life one achieves by living without knee pain for 25 or more years is priceless.

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Experience

Myth: This is a relatively new procedure and there is not enough experience with it.

Truth: Our surgeons have performed over 4,000 minimally invasive quad-sparing joint replacements and are currently performing about 1,000 annually.

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Same-Day Replacement

Myth: Some patients are discharged and sent home the same day. That sounds risky.

Truth: Many of our patients go home the same day, not because they have to but because they can. They receive physical therapy while they are in the hospital and are evaluated to determine if they can manage at home. We have found that patients recover better in the comfort of their own home. Your surgeon will work with you to determine what is right for you.

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Pain

Myth: You should wait until you can’t stand the pain any longer before considering joint replacement, and you should continue with medication as long as possible.

Truth: You don’t need to suffer by waiting until the pain is intolerable. The longer life of joint replacements enables people to consider surgery earlier and at a younger age.

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Reputation

Myth: There is a higher quality of care at an academic medical center.

Truth: While academic medical centers provide very fine care, they also train doctors—known as residents—who often assist and/or perform surgery. At Virtua, your surgeon will be your own physician, someone who has completed training and has experience performing the procedure. To learn more about our surgeons, visit the physician profile pages on this site.

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Recovery

Myth: After a knee replacement, it takes months to recover.

Truth: Depending on the activity, most patients who undergo quad-sparing knee replacement are able to get back to normal within a few weeks. A return to rigorous activity takes only a few months. Most people are able to perform routine tasks within a few weeks.

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Rehab

Myth: Rehab after knee replacement is long and hard, the new knee does not get the full range of motion, and the knee is stiff.

Truth: For many quad-sparing patients, rehab is relatively easy. Patients also tell us that their new knee is stronger than when their knee was healthy.

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Activity

Myth: I’ve heard that after knee replacement, I’ll have to give up some activities and sports.

Truth: You have a high probability of getting back to activities like walking, biking or hiking in 4 to 6 weeks, taking it slow at first to determine how much the recuperating knee can tolerate. It will take a bit longer to return to more rigorous activity.

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Scarring

Myth: Knee replacement surgery leaves a large scar that is noticeable.

Truth: Thanks to Virtua’s minimally invasive procedure, scarring is minimal. In fact, the scar is typically only 3 to 5 inches long. As time passes, the scar will fade and become less noticeable.

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Doctors

Myth: The best surgeons are found only at academic medical centers.

Truth: Our surgical team is led by an internationally recognized surgeon who has taught the quad-sparing technique to surgeons from around the world. In fact, our surgical team members have been trained at leading academic medical centers and have brought their skills here because they are passionate about healing patients. Virtua also serves as an international teaching site for minimally invasive quad-sparing joint replacement techniques. In addition, our orthopedic program has been selected as a “Center of Excellence” by Philadelphia Magazine.

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