What Is a Joint Replacement Center?

Patti Kate

A joint replacement center is a facility where orthopedic patients are treated, typically with orthopedic surgery to replace a dysfunctional joint. In many cases, physical therapy is also offered at a joint replacement center. Orthopedic surgeons and anesthesiologists at joint replacement centers may also suggest various options for post-operative pain management. The most common types of procedures performed at a joint replacement center are total or partial hip replacement and knee replacement surgeries.

An X-ray of the pelvic area, showing a metal replacement hip.
An X-ray of the pelvic area, showing a metal replacement hip.

Joint replacement centers typically employ trained specialists and board-certified physicians and surgeons. Licensed occupational therapists may also work at these centers. The team of specialists that work at such a facility may have certification in orthopedic medicine, as well as sports medicine. In many cases, athletes who suffer serious injuries to a joint or have extensive wear and tear to cartilage may be referred to a joint replacement center by a physician. If total or partial joint replacement is recommended, this facility can provide comprehensive care to the patient before and after the surgery.

Many joint replacement facilities also offer special classes for patients who must undergo surgery. The class is designed as a special orientation to prepare the patient for what he can expect during and after his joint replacement surgery. This class will also provide post-operative care instruction, and inform the patient about what he can expect from physical rehabilitation therapy. Classes at joint replacement centers are generally scheduled by appointment.

Depending upon the size of the facility, a joint replacement center will have one or more patient recovery rooms. The room will resemble a hospital room, although in many cases, it will be considerably larger and private. Large screen televisions are often placed in each room, along with other amenities, such as comfortable furniture and chairs for visitors.

Various options for total or partial joint replacement may also be offered at a joint replacement center. Minimally invasive surgery may be offered to some patients. The use of computers during the procedure may help with accuracy as well.

Knee and hip replacements are not the only types of surgery performed at a joint replacement center. Although it is not as commonly performed, a shoulder replacement may also be performed at one of these centers. This type of surgery may be performed on patients with shoulder joints destroyed by arthritis or rotator cuff injuries.

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