Orthopaedics is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. This complex systemincludes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.
Our treatments range from casting and splinting to arthroscopic surgery. We’re growing and changing to better meet the needs of our patients.
We have Saturday morning hours during football season and accept Blue/Cross Blue/Shield, Health Partners Plus and most major insurance plans.
What is total joint replacement?
An arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis.
What is a joint?
A joint is formed by the ends of two or more bones which are connected by thick tissues. For example, your knee joint is formed by the lower leg bone, called the tibia or shin bone, and your thighbone, called the femur. Your hip is a ball and socket joint, formed by the upper end of the femur, the ball, and a part of the pelvis called the acetabulum, the socket.
The bone ends of a joint are covered with a smooth layer called cartilage. Normal cartilage allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. However, when the cartilage is damaged or diseased by arthritis, joints become stiff and painful. Every joint is enclosed by a fibrous tissue envelope or a capsule with a smooth tissue lining called the synovium. The synovium produces fluid that reduces friction and wear in a joint.
Why is total joint replacement necessary?
You will be given an anesthetic and the surgeon will replace the damaged parts of the joint. For example, in an arthritic knee the damaged ends of the bones and cartilage are replaced with metal and plastic surfaces that are shaped to restore knee movement and function. In an arthritic hip, the damaged ball (the upper end of the femur) is replaced by a metal ball attached to a metal stem fitted into the femur, and a plastic socket is implanted into the pelvis, replacing the damaged socket. Although hip and knee replacements are the most common, joint replacement can be performed on other joints, including the ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow and fingers.
The materials used in a total joint replacement are designed to enable the joint to move just like your normal joint. The prosthesis is generally composed of two parts: a metal piece that fits closely into a matching sturdy plastic piece. Several metals are used, including stainless steel, alloys of cobalt and chrome, and titanium. The plastic material is durable and wear resistant (polyethylene). A plastic bone cement may be used to anchor the prosthesis into the bone. Joint replacements also can be implanted without cement when the prosthesis and the bone are designed to fit and lock together directly.
What is the recovery process?
In general, your orthopaedist will encourage you to use your “new” joint shortly after your operation. After total hip or knee replacement you will often stand and begin walking the day after surgery. Initially, you will walk with a walker, crutches or a cane.
Most patients have some temporary pain in the replaced joint because the surrounding muscles are weak from inactivity and the tissues are healing, but it will end in a few weeks or months.
Exercise is an important part of the recovery process. Your orthopaedic surgeon or the staff will discuss an exercise program for you after surgery. This varies for different joint replacements and for differing needs of each patient.
After your surgery, you may be permitted to play golf, walk and dance. However, more strenuous sports, such as tennis or running, may be discouraged.
The motion of your joint will generally improve after surgery. The extent of improvement will depend on how stiff your joint was before the surgery.
What are the possible complications?
Tell your orthopaedic surgeon about any medical conditions that might affect the surgery. Joint replacement surgery is successful in more than 9 out of 10 people. When complications occur, most are successfully treatable. Possible complications include:
Infection-Infection may occur in the wound or deep around the prosthesis. It may happen while in the hospital or after you go home. It may even occur years later. Minor infections in the wound area are generally treated with antibiotics. Major or deep infections may require more surgery and removal of the prosthesis.
Any infection in your body can spread to your joint replacement.
Blood Clots-Blood clots result from several factors, including your decreased mobility causing sluggish movement of the blood through your leg veins. Blood clots may be suspected if pain and swelling develop in your calf or thigh. If this occurs, your orthopaedic surgeon may consider tests to evaluate the veins of your leg. Several measures may be used to reduce the possibility of blood clots, including:
-blood thinning medications (anticoagulants)
-exercises to increase blood flow in the leg muscles
-plastic boots that inflate with air to compress the muscles in your legs
Despite the use of these preventive measures, blood clots may still occur. If you develop swelling, redness or pain in your leg following discharge from the hospital, you should contact your orthopaedic surgeon.
Loosening-Loosening of the prosthesis within the bone may occur after a total joint replacement. This may cause pain. If the loosening is significant, a revision of the joint replacement may be needed. New methods of fixing the prosthesis to bone should minimize this problem.
Dislocation-Occasionally, after total hip replacement the ball can be dislodged from the socket. In most cases, the hip can be relocated without surgery. A brace may be worn for a period of time if a dislocation occurs. Most commonly, dislocations are more frequent after complex revision surgery.
Wear-Some wear can be found in all joint replacements. Excessive wear may contribute to loosening and may require revision surgery.
Prosthetic breakage-Breakage of the metal or plastic joint replacement is rare, but can occur. A revision surgery is necessary if this occurs.
Nerve injury-Nerves in the vicinity of the total joint replacement may be damaged during the total replacement surgery, although this type of injury is infrequent. This is more likely to occur when the surgery involves correction of major joint deformity or lengthening of a shortened limb due to an arthritic deformity. Over time these nerve injuries often improve and may completely recover.
Preparing for total joint replacement
Before surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will make some recommendations, such as suggesting that you:
-donate some of your own blood so that, if needed, you may receive it during or after surgery
-stop taking some drugs before surgery
-begin exercises to speed your recovery after surgery
-evaluate your need for discharge planning, home therapy and rehabilitation after surgery
Is total joint replacement permanent?
Most older persons can expect their total joint replacement to last a decade or more. It will give years of pain-free living that would not have been possible otherwise. Younger joint replacement patients may need a second total joint replacement. Materials and surgical techniques are improving through the efforts of orthopaedists working with engineers and other scientists. The future is bright for those who choose to have a total joint replacement to achieve an improved quality of life through greater independence and healthier pain-free activity.
Your orthopaedist is a medical doctor with extensive training in the diagnosis and nonsurgical and surgical treatment of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.
This information has been prepared by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and is intended to contain current information on the subject from recognized authorities. However, it does not represent official policy of the Academy and its text should not be construed as excluding other acceptable viewpoints.
Orthopaedics is the medical specialty devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. This complex system includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.
Our treatments range from casting and splinting to arthroscopic surgery.
Notes from the orthopaedics department…
We’re growing and changing to better meet the needs of our patients.
Have you heard about our Emergent Care service? SCG-Ortho Emergent Care offers same day appointments for orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injuries, so you don’t have to make an expensive trip to the emergency room for: Fractures, Dislocations, Strains & Sprains, Simple Lacerations, Back & Neck Pain, Muscular Pain, Sport Injuries, and Hand Injuries.
For more information call 678-207-1790.
We have Saturday morning hours during football season and accept Blue/Cross Blue/Shield, Health Partners Plus and most major insurance plans.
Welcome to Specialty Clinics of Georgia – Orthopedics. At Specialty Clinics, our physicians and staff are committed to provide you with detailed communication, education and quality care for you and your injured employee. Therefore from start to finish, our worker’s compensation department will be easily accessible to you and your employee.
Please take a moment to review the Worker’s Compensation services that we can offer you, your employees and your clients. We understand the unique challenges presented by industrial illnesses and injuries and the value to both the employee and employer of early intervention.
The early diagnosis and treatment of Worker’s Compensation injuries is key to helping injured employees quickly return to maximum employment potential. Our physicians are available to see your injured employee within 24 hours of their injury and in some cases within only a few hours. Our office is equipped to provide a full evaluation and treatment plan including x-rays.
Our team consists of partnering with the employee, case manager, and the insurance carrier to ensure that post-injury care and rehabilitation runs smoothly. Our physicians, work compensation coordinator and staff specialize in work-related injury diagnosis and treatment and will work together to provide you the following:
- Triage of orthopedic injuries
- Provide one-person-contact with our office for the employee, employer and carrier.
- Educates employee and employer regarding the injury diagnosis and plan for care.
- Work status is faxed at the time of the appointment.
- Facilitate authorization for treatment and surgical procedures as part of the care plan.
- Troubleshoot return to work issues.
- Schedule physicians to tour work sites to better understand the working environment.
- Provide timely documentation to employer and carrier/adjuster
Please contact our Worker’s Compensation Department at 678-450-3776 to assist you in scheduling an appointment for your injured employee. We have included an Authorization form to facilitate ease in scheduling. Please complete the form and fax to our office prior to scheduling to 678-707-7156. Please retain a copy for your records.
The Worker’s Compensation Coordinator will keep your adjuster informed of your employee’s medical progress, procedure scheduling, pre-certification, and claims billing. It is our intention to maintain a good working relationship through communication, so feel free to contact our Workers Compensation Department with any questions or concerns.
Thank you for entrusting the care of your employees to our orthopedic practice
We will strive to provide excellent quality care by assisting our community one patient at a time.
Linda Lee, CWCP, WC Coordinator 678-707-7156
Foot & Ankle
More than 11 million visits were made to physicians’ offices in 2003 because of foot, toe and ankle problems, including more than 2 million visits for ankle sprains and strains and more than 800,000 visits for ankle fractures (Source: National Center for Health Statistics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2003 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.) Consider this:
- Walking puts up to 1.5 times your bodyweight on your foot.
- Your feet log approx. 1,000 miles per year.
- As shock absorbers, feet cushion up to one million pounds of pressure during one hour of strenuous exercise.
Here are some facts from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Each foot has 26 bones. The ankle bone (talus) and the ends of the two lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) form the ankle joint, which is stabilized and supported by three groups of ligaments. Muscles and tendons move the foot and ankle.
What are the most prevalent foot and ankle injuries?
- Ankle sprains. Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries in sports. Because the inner ankle is more stable than the outer ankle, the foot is likely to turn inward (ankle inversion) from a fall, tackle, or jump. This stretches or tears ligaments; the result is an ankle sprain. The lateral ligament on the outer ankle is most prone to injury.
- Achilles tendon injury. The strongest and largest tendon, the Achilles tendon connects muscles in the lower leg with the heel bone. Sports that tighten the calf muscles, such as basketball, running and high-jumping can overstress this tendon and cause a strain (Achilles tendinitis) or a rupture. A direct blow to the foot, ankle, or calf can also cause it.
- Overuse injuries. Excessive training, such as running long distances without rest, places repeated stress on the foot and ankle. The result can be stress fractures and muscle/tendon strains.
- Shin splints. Pain in front of the shin bone (tibia) usually is caused by a stress fracture, called shin splints. Overtraining, poorly fitting athletic shoes, and a change in running surface from soft to hard puts athletes at risk for this injury.
Athletes who jump risk ankle sprains because they can accidentally land on the side of their foot. Extensive running, exercise, or training also can overstress the ligaments, leading to injury. Contact and kicking sports expose the foot and ankle to potential trauma-direct blows, crushing, displacement, etc. Especially prevalent in football, hockey, and soccer-trauma can dislocate a joint, fracture a bone, stretch or tear ligaments, or strain muscles and tendons.
What other factors make people susceptible to foot and ankle injuries?
Improperly fitting shoes or improper footwear for a particular sport can damage your feet. Training errors, i.e., running up hills, or running on bumpy roads, predispose you to serious sprains and strains. If you start a new sport without proper conditioning, you are at risk.
How are foot and ankle injuries treated?
Most sprains and strains are initially treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Moderate and severe sprains and strains are often immobilized with a cast or splint. Severe fractures often require surgical repair.
No one is immune from these injuries, but the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons developed these tips to help reduce your injury risk:
- Warm up before any sports activity, including practice
- Participate in a conditioning program to build muscle strength
- Do stretching exercises daily
- Listen to your body: never run if you experience pain in the foot or ankle.
- Wear protective equipment appropriate for that sport
- Replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread or heel wears out
- Wear properly fitting athletic, dress, and casual shoes
SCG-Orthopaedics department of orthopaedic surgery has a long history of caring for our community’s athletes. We have had physicians on the side lines since the early 80’s and continue to do this today. Now, as a Blue-Cross/Blue-Shield provider, SCG is again an active part of caring for student and adult athletes.
Orthopaedic surgeons are physicians with extensive training in both surgical and nonsurgical treatment of bones, joints, and soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons and muscles. In addition to their orthopaedic training, all of SCG’s orthopaedic surgeons have training in sports medicine.
SCG holds walk-in Sports Injury Clinics for student and adult athletes each Saturday during football season from 9 to 10 a.m. No appointment is necessary.
To learn more, call 770-532-7202.
Ambulatory Surgery Center
In our Specialty Orthopaedics Surgery Center, we perform same day surgery without over night stay for your convenience. Our experienced staff is here to take good care of you and make sure your experience is as pleasant as possible.
Surgeries performed are:
- CTS – Carpal Tunnel Surgery
- Rotator Cuff Repair
- ACL Reconstruction
- Shoulder & Knee Arthroscopy
- Tennis Elbow Repair * ORIF Wrist & Ankle
- Trigger Finger
- Cyst Removal
Emergent Care Clinic
SCG-Ortho Emergent Care Clinic is NOW Open
We’re here to help when you get injured.
Emergent Care offers same day appointments for orthopaedic and musculoskeletal injuries, so you don’t have to make an expensive trip to the emergency room for: Fractures, Dislocations, Strains & Sprains, Simple Lacerations, Back & Neck Pain, Muscular Pain, Sport Injuries, and Hand Injuries