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Joint Implant Center of the Treasure Coast
At Indian River Memorial Hospital

Why replace joints?

The human body is designed to absorb years of a constant weight on our joints without pain or problem. But occasionally, weight-bearing joints can literally wear out due to accidents, arthritis, age, disease or deformity. The result? Chronic pain, stiffness and suffering in our hips and knees and a drastic loss of mobility.

Patients who live with joint pain know the usual treatments: anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, injections and heat applications. For many patients, though, the pain is so great, or mobility so severely restricted, that joint replacement surgery is an alternative that can mean a return to a normal lifestyle. Joint replacement surgery is usually considered when other treatments no longer bring relief. Your physician can help you determine if joint replacement is an option for you.

The professionals at the Joint Implant Center of the Treasure Coast at Indian River Memorial Hospital can also answer any questions you have about joint replacement. Offering the most modern, up-to-date technology, the center began serving area residents in 1992. During it's first year of operation, the center performed more than 500 hip and knee replacements on patients ranging in age from 45 to 82. Today over 600 are performed per year.

The center is a 24-bed, state-of-the-art nursing unit with dedicated operating suites equipped with special features designed for joint replacement procedures and on-site physical therapy facilities.

The Procedures

The Joint Implant Center offers the latest technological advances in joint replacement from a staff of top professionals in the field. Procedures vary depending on the nature of the problem, the age of the patient, physical condition of the patient, and the condition of the joint and bone.

Surgeons have two options for joint implants: Cemented joints, which are glued in place to the natural bone, or uncemented, which offers a porous surface to which living tissue will eventually attach and grow.

A hip prosthesis contains the same parts as a regular hip, with a metal ball replacing the worn head of the thigh bone. A plastic cup-like device replaces the patient's worn socket, and with this, the metal ball moves and turns in the socket so their is no pain. These artificial joints can be either cemented in place or secured by the natural bone growing back around it.

A knee replacement is made of metal covered with a polyethylene or plastic covering. Surgeons remove the cartilage between the joints and resurface it to restore smooth contact between the working parts.

Regardless of the type of surgery or location of the joint replacement, patients who are admitted to the Joint Implant Center usually stay an average of five to seven days.

Rehabilitation Therapy

During the hospital stay and in the weeks ahead at home, physical therapists work with patients to ensure recuperation, full range of motion and a return to active lifestyles. In the hospital, therapists design and teach exercise and walking programs. After discharge, outpatient physical therapy services make it easy for patients to continue therapy, thereby maximizing progress in regaining mobility.

A Staff of Trained Specialists

The Joint Implant Center is a team of professionals trained and dedicated in the specialty of hip and knee replacement. Nursing, physical therapy, anesthesiology, and medical staff members all work together as a team to provide comprehensive care designed exclusively for each patient. Their work is complemented by a full range of support services including occupational therapy, nutritional support, pharmacy, diagnostic imaging and the laboratory to assess the patient's condition and advise them on a recommended course of treatment and lifestyle. Patients at the Joint Implant Center enjoy attentive, individualized care while receiving advanced treatment efficiently and professionally.