How do I make an appointment?
Simply call us at during our working hours.
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
It is ideal so that your insurance is aware and will cover you. Most medical specialists will accept only referred patients as well. This is mainly to try to ensure you are seeing the correct specialist for you and your condition.
What are some non-surgical treatment options?
The non-surgical treatment options include activity modification, medications, injections, and physical therapy.
What are the risks associated with surgery?
As with any surgery, risks include reactions to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, stiffness and nerve damage. Your doctor will discuss the risks associated with your specific procedure.
How long will my new joint last?
This depends on many factors but typically a modern-day implant should last 20-30 years or more.
How long do I need time off work after the surgery?
The post-operative recovery period varies based on the surgery and the individual patient. Generally, it is recommended patients take at least 8 weeks off work to recover.
How long before I can resume driving?
This depends on what side and what joint was operated on. In general, you must be off prescription pain medication during the day or when you would be driving. Typically, hip replacement patients are faster at returning to driving. If your left knee was replaced and you feel safe, this may be around 2-3 weeks after surgery. If it was your right knee that was replaced, a few weeks longer may be needed to gain muscle control, coordination, and strength to safely drive.
When can I resume exercise?
You will be instructed about post-treatment exercises – the type and the duration to be followed. You may be referred to a physical therapist to help with strengthening and range of motion exercises following surgery.
When can I return to daily activities?
This varies depending on the type of procedure undergone, and can range from a few days to a few months. Return to all activities, sports and exercise can take up to four to six months.
What can happen if surgery is avoided?
Some complications of not undergoing an orthopedic total joint surgery may include continued and increase in pain, weakness, and progressive loss of joint motion.
How long do I have to wait for surgery after getting an injection?
You need to wait at least 3 months to limit infection risk. Injections of all types change how your joint can fight off infection. You can get injections in other locations of your body, just not in the same joint as surgery.
How long is the surgery?
Standard hip or knee replacement surgeries take 1-2 hours.
What is the recovery time?
This depends on multiple factors, but most patients feel better after replacement surgery between 4 and 8 weeks. Full recovery takes a full year for a hip or knee replacement to be as good as it will be. This is because the scar tissue takes that long to mature.
Can I go to the dentist or have another procedure done soon after a total joint replacement?
We recommend avoiding dental work (even routine cleanings), colonoscopies, or any other procedures that could cause bleeding and lead to an infection at least 1 month before and 3 months after joint surgery. This is to prevent potential infection.
Can I get a vaccine or booster before/after surgery?
Some things aren’t well studied or understood yet, but we recommend avoiding elective vaccines for 4-6 weeks before and 3 months after surgery.
Who do I call with insurance questions about coverage for my surgery?
It is best to call your insurance provider directly. Their number is located on your insurance card. Tidelands Health will help work with your insurance company to approve your surgery.
Is all this swelling, stiffness and bruising normal?
Yes, your entire operative region and leg down to your ankle can swell and bruise from surgery! Nothing is wrong. This is normal and expected. If you are concerned, please get in touch with our office.
Are my legs different lengths now after surgery?
This can be very noticeable especially after a hip replacement. Arthritis leads to a breakdown in cartilage and even bone. Before surgery, arthritis may have already affected the leg length and the body has compensated for this discrepancy. However, after surgery corrects the problem, it can lead to a perceived lengthening of the leg. This perception can correct itself over time as the patient adjusts to proper alignment.
Should I put cream on my incision?
Not for at least 6 weeks until your incision is healed and completely sealed. Don’t put anything (Neosporin, Vitamin-E, or lotions) on your incision until instructed to do so by Dr. Eccles.
Can I shower after surgery?
Yes, unless instructed differently by Dr. Eccles, you may shower when you go home. Your dressing will be water-resistant. After it is removed, you can let soap and water run over the incision and pat it dry. Don’t soak in a bath, pool, or the ocean until instructed.
When will my sutures need to be removed?
Dr. Eccles typically uses absorbable sutures under the skin for closure. These dissolve over time on their own and are hidden. If other sutures or staples were used, they will typically be removed at your 2-week postoperative visit.
How long should I ice after surgery?
Especially for knee replacement patients, icing is a great way to help reduce inflammation and pain. Use a “30 minutes on, 30 minutes off” schedule multiple times daily. You must ice for as many weeks (or even months) as your body needs for swelling and pain control.
Why does my knee or hip click?
Your new hip and knee replacement is a mechanical device made of metal and plastic (and ceramic for hips). Especially for knees, clicking can be normal and is expected. It happens because the metal and plastic surfaces are in contact. Your natural joint surfaces before surgery would separate and contact each other, but they were covered with a soft covering called cartilage which doesn’t make any noise. Over time, most of the clicking you feel will either go away as the scar tissue matures, or you won’t notice it as much.
How soon can I travel after surgery?
This is up to you and your comfort level. Generally, you won’t have restrictions from Dr. Eccles. However, the main concern for sitting for an extended period during the early recovery period is developing a blood clot in your legs. Standing up, walking around, and pumping your ankles are essential activities to keep the blood moving throughout your leg and prevent stiffness.
What do I do if I need a refill of my pain medication?
Call our office. Please get in touch with us well before you run out to give our staff and Dr. Eccles enough time. Several factors, including insurance rules, can slow this process, so plan ahead, especially if on the weekend or around a holiday.
How long do I have to wait until another joint is replaced?
Usually, it is best to wait 3 months to allow your body to recover.
How soon can I resume sexual activity after surgery?
In general, as soon as you are comfortable enough and if you can maintain any postoperative positioning precautions if you are a total hip patient.
How much should I be walking or doing?
While there are no wrong answers here, and it depends on you, Dr. Eccles recommends getting up and walking every hour you are awake during the first few weeks. The key is frequency, which has nothing to do with speed or distance. Make sure you use your walker at the beginning, and you can transition to a cane or nothing as your strength and balance return to normal. Walk on firm, level surfaces and avoid grass or the beach for the first two weeks. Gradually increase your distance as you are able. Walking won’t damage your implant. Sometimes increased activity will cause your operative joint area to have swelling and pain. Control this with rest and ice. Listen to your body as it will tell you if you are doing too much.
How long will I need to stay in the hospital after surgery?
Most healthy patients that meet all criteria go home on the same day of surgery. Very few patients require an overnight stay for monitoring.
How soon will I walk after surgery?
Hours after surgery, you will work with our excellent physical therapy team. They will instruct you on how to walk safely and teach you tips on getting around.
Can I go up and down stairs?
Yes, our physical therapy team will show you how this is safely done after surgery.
Will I need physical therapy after surgery?
All knee replacement patients will need to work with physical therapists after surgery. Most hip replacement patients just need to walk for exercises and don’t require formal physical therapy.
How long will my knee stay warm?
Six to 12 months! Your knee will feel warmer than your other knee typically. This is a very normal part of your body’s healing process.