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Joint Replacement Following Knee Injuries with Dr. Melegari

January 10, 2018
Falls happen year-round, but they are especially likely during the slippery winter months. One of the most common joints injured in falls is the knee. Others include the elbows, wrists, and hips. In this segment of "Greater Living," Dr. Todd Melegari, orthopaedic surgeon at GBMC, discusses joint replacement following injuries with Mary Beth Marsden and Don Scott.

If you fall, it is important to listen to what your body is telling you. Many people avoid going to the doctor even if they are in significant pain; however, this can exacerbate the injury and create complications. Your next step depends on the functionality of the area and the amount of pain after the injury. If the pain can be controlled by over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen or Tylenol, it is usually safe to try that first, but if you can't put weight on the injured area or the pain is overwhelming, you should seek medical attention. Unfortunately, injuries to joints can cause long-term medical problems like arthritis.

Here are some tips to avoid falling:
  • Pay attention to your surroundings — look for spots that are icy or may be slippery and avoid them if possible
  • Shuffle your feet if you do have to go out in the ice
  • Stay off your phone when walking in slippery conditions
Dr. Melegari went on to discuss when and why to get a knee replacement. Although sometimes caused by injury, arthritis is often caused by simple wear and tear. When to get one or both knees replaced simply comes down to quality of life. "It's all about pain and the disruption that it causes in your everyday life," says Dr. Melegari. The amount of arthritis in the knee doesn't necessarily dictate whether a patient should get surgery. If physical therapy and/or medication is enough to manage the pain, then an operation is not always needed.

Later that day, Dr. Lee Schmidt, Chief, Division of Orthopaedics, and Director of the Joint Replacement Center at GBMC, talked about recovery after joint replacement surgery. Click here to learn more about Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols for knee replacement patients.

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