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Ask A Physio: Need A Joint Replacement?

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Sean Lester is one of our Senior Physiotherapists, he has special interests in: musculoskeletal, sports injuries, return to sport planning & testing, movement analysis, post-surgical shoulder and knee rehabilitation. To book an appointment with Sean, or read his Meet the Team profile CLICK HERE.

Our Ask A Physio series is a collection of micro blogs aimed at giving a basic understanding to some frequently asked questions. If you have an injury or are experiencing discomfort please book for an assessment, or contact reception for more information.

Knowing whether I need a joint replacement?

Joint replacements are the final line of defence when we’re dealing with osteoarthritis; the painful advanced aging of a joint. They are a really significant undertaking, generally requiring a few hours of surgery and up to a year of rehabilitation. Despite this, they are extremely effective when performed well, and are often cited as the most successful type of routine orthopaedic surgery.

Before we start the process, there is an expectation from surgeons and physiotherapists that we should trial up to 12 weeks of conservative management first. This involves a detailed review of any medications you require, a tailored home exercise programme, and a good look at your general lifestyle (general fitness, sleep, diet, smoking, alcohol/drug intake and weight). Often we find that a well structured conservative plan can delay or avoid surgery altogether, and is the best option for most people with osteoarthritis. If after roughly 12 weeks of conservative management there is no good progress, then we start a deeper chat about a potential joint replacement.


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