Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some frequently asked questions by joint replacement patients. They are the most common, but if you have any additional questions, please contact one of our staff at the Joint Replacement Club at (308) 865-7170.

Will I be able to tell that I have a joint prosthesis and will it weigh a lot?

The answer to both questions is no. The prosthesis used in joint replacements weighs just slightly more than the bone and you will not able to tell the difference. It can be compared to a filling in a tooth. Once it's put in, you can't tell it's there.

What is a joint replacement prosthesis made of?

Joint prostheses are made of titanium, cobalt chrome steel and high-density polyethylene. The only uses for this particular density of polyethylene are for total joint replacements and for use in the NASA space program.

Once I have a joint replacement surgery, will I set off the metal detector alarm in an airport?

The truth is, you may set off the metal detector in an airport. You will not be the first person to fly with an artificial joint. Your surgeon's office can provide you with a joint replacement card. This card verifies that you have a total joint present. This can be used in the event of an incident at the airport, for example to clear up any confusion that may arise.

How long will my prosthesis last?

It's dependent on your age, your weight and how much you abuse the new components. Running, jumping and jogging are discouraged after a total joint; they are designed for walking and exercising in a low-impact environment. However under normal use they your hip or knee prosthesis may last 15 to 20 years.

What limitations will I have with a joint replacement?

Limitations vary with each individual patient, but you will be advised as to what positions will be most comfortable for you, and what positions you should avoid. Please follow two general guidelines in terms of limitations:

  • Let pain be your guide. If something you do feels uncomfortable, don't do it.
  • Use good judgment. If you think that something you might do could cause a problem, use your best judgment and do what feels right.
  • Total hip replacements will have lifelong hip dislocation problems. These will be reviewed with you during your hospital stay for your total joint replacement surgery.