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Joint Replacement Specialist


Orthopedic Surgeons located in Harlingen, TX

Around 1 million Americans have joint replacement surgery every year. If you have late-stage arthritis, joint replacement can remove the limits that your disease imposes. For optimal results from your joint replacement, you need the very best in experienced surgeons. At OrthoCare, the skilled team, led by Stephanie Baker, MD, performs hip and knee replacements using the most advanced surgical approaches. Learn what joint replacement can do for you by calling the Harlingen, Texas, office now, or you can use the online scheduler any time.

Joint Replacement Q & A

What is joint replacement?

Joint replacement is surgery in which your OrthoCare surgeon removes your damaged joint and replaces it with new plastic, ceramic, or metal components. 

Depending on your needs, your surgeon may replace only part of the joint. For example, a partial hip replacement replaces only the ball part of your hip joint but leaves the socket intact. 

The new joint functions smoothly, like a healthy natural joint, and it won’t degrade over time like natural tissue will. Joint replacement is often the next step if conservative care treatments like physical therapy, injections, and medication don’t offer adequate relief for your joint pain. 

Who is a candidate for joint replacement?

The OrthoCare team may recommend joint replacement for anyone dealing with chronic joint problems in their hips or knees. Less common types of joint replacement include ankle, shoulder, elbow, and wrist joint replacement. You could be a good candidate for joint replacement if you have:

  • Severe joint damage from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ongoing joint pain 
  • Lost range of motion in your joint
  • Experienced a traumatic joint injury
  • Bone cancer or bone malformations in the joint
  • Osteonecrosis, which is bone death related to lack of blood supply
  • A bone fracture that won’t heal

Age isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for joint replacement surgery, but most joint replacement candidates are in their 60s. The average age of joint replacement is decreasing due to rising obesity rates and the corresponding stress on the joints. 

What is joint replacement recovery like?

After your OrthoCare surgeon performs your joint replacement surgery at the state-of-the-art Harlingen Medical Center, you typically start your recovery protocol right away. Usually, you start using your new joint through physical therapy and prescribed exercises. 

As with any surgery, it’s normal to have some discomfort as you recover. But, by following your surgeon’s directions, you can have the fastest possible recovery. 

Your physical therapy and exercise build up the joint’s support muscles as your tissue heals. This forms a long-term stable support system for your new joint. 

Overall, it can take around three months to return to full normal activity, although this can vary by patient. Many patients are able to return to work after around six weeks, especially if they have a desk job. Everyone is different, so your surgeon can give you personalized recommendations.  

For joint replacement from the premier orthopedic surgery team in Harlingen, call OrthoCare or use the online booking tool now.