Joint Replacement Surgery Performed by a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Lafayette, LA
A joint replacement may be your best option for addressing severe or chronic shoulder, knee, or hip pain, especially if your discomfort does not improve with conservative therapies. If you’ve tried resting, applying ice packs, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for several weeks or longer but have not found meaningful symptom relief, you may want to explore other treatment options with Peter D. Vizzi, MD. A board-certified orthopedic surgeon who has been practicing in Lafayette, Louisiana, for more than 20 years, Dr. Vizzi can help you decide if joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) is right for you.
First Explore All Conservative Alternatives to Surgery
After evaluating your symptoms, discussing your health history and lifestyle, and examining your painful joint, Dr. Vizzi will help you explore all appropriate alternatives to joint replacement surgery. For instance, he may suggest that you try some other nonsurgical treatments, such as:
- Physical therapy – The most common reason for joint replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, which can make a joint feel painful and stiff. A physical therapy program can be specifically designed to increase the strength of the muscles that support a painful joint. In addition to low-impact exercises, a physical therapist may suggest the targeted use of ice and heat, electrical nerve stimulation, and other therapies designed to increase blood circulation, which can deliver healing nutrients to an injured area. As compared to exercising on your own, you can potentially achieve more effective results with the oversight and guidance of a health care professional.
- Prescription medications – The analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) available over the counter can be very effective for relieving joint pain. However, if you need further relief, a stronger prescription medication may be appropriate.
- Joint bracing – A brace can be worn to increase the stability of a weakened joint, help maintain proper bone alignment, and gently restrict excessive movements, such as twisting, bending, and moving from front-to-back or side-to-side. This is important because excess movement may aggravate the injury, create or worsen pain, and interfere with proper healing.
- Corticosteroid injections – Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory medications that can be injected directly into the painful area of a joint. One commonly used example is cortisone. Widely considered to be the first line of defense against joint pain caused by osteoarthritis in the shoulders, knees, and hips, corticosteroid injections can reduce painful inflammation and provide effective relief for up to several months.
- Hyaluronic acid (HA) injections – For treating knee pain, HA injections may be suggested if no signs of inflammation are present or if corticosteroid injections are ineffective. Chemically similar to natural joint fluid, HA can serve as an effective joint lubricant as well as a shock-absorbing joint cushion, both of which can help reduce pain during movement. The beneficial effects of an HA injection may last up to a year.
If You Decide Joint Replacement Is Right for You
Should you ultimately decide to move forward with joint replacement surgery, you can feel confident in Dr. Vizzi, who is highly experienced in using advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques to treat injuries and conditions that affect the shoulder, knee, or hip. When performing any type of joint replacement procedure, Dr. Vizzi typically begins by surgically removing worn-out cartilage from the damaged joint. In its place, he inserts a highly polished metal implant and a medical-grade plastic (polyethylene) spacer.
Specifically, Dr. Vizzi performs the following types of joint replacement surgery:
- Total shoulder replacement – Dr. Vizzi replaces the shoulder ball (head of the upper arm bone, or humerus) with a metal ball attached to a stem, which is secured in the shaft of the humerus. Most people who elect to proceed with a total shoulder replacement have an advanced form of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis or a severe shoulder injury, such as a fracture. The primary goal of this procedure is to relieve pain; the secondary goal is to improve shoulder range of motion.
- Total knee replacement – Dr. Vizzi resurfaces damaged articular cartilage, which coats the knee’s weight-bearing surfaces, and addresses any loss of bone structure or ligament support with the placement of an implant. Most people who elect to proceed with a total knee replacement have advanced arthritis that limits their mobility.
- Total hip replacement – Dr. Vizzi resurfaces the hip ball (head of the thigh bone, or femur) and the hip socket where bone and cartilage have been damaged or lost, then inserts a hip prosthesis. Most people who elect to proceed with a total hip replacement have severe hip joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis, which causes severe pain or interferes with daily living.
As an experienced orthopedic joint surgeon and specialist, Dr. Vizzi has mastered the intricacies of these procedures after having performed them many times. Additionally, he continually updates his knowledge and experience by participating in educational conferences, where he has opportunities to learn how to utilize the very latest surgical techniques and identify the best joint implant to ensure an optimal fit in each case. Recognizing that every patient is unique, Dr. Vizzi takes a personalized approach to joint replacement in order to meet the specific needs of each individual he treats.
Request a Personal Consultation With Dr. Vizzi
If you would like to learn more about joint replacement surgery and other treatment options for your shoulder, knee, or hip pain, contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vizzi at his office in Lafayette, LA. Dr. Vizzi has the knowledge and proficiency to effectively treat your joint condition, alleviate your pain, and help you resume your active lifestyle.