Jeff Leary, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Overlook Medical Center, on Thursday, May 23, was the featured expert for the first installment of a new quarterly wellness series at Lantern Hill retirement community in New Providence, NJ. During the event, which was sponsored by the Overlook Foundation as part of Overlook’s mission to build healthier communities, Dr. Leary shared advice and expertise on orthopedic surgery, particularly joint replacement, with about 60 residents.
Q: My doctor tells me I’m too old for knee replacement.
Tell your doctor that argument just doesn’t hold up in 2019. Age is just a number, and every patient is different. It all depends on the health of the patient. I very carefully determine what treatment is most appropriate for my patients based on their health.
Q: I’ve heard some people say ‘I fell and broke my hip,’ and others say ‘my hip broke and I fell.’ Can that happen?
The latter theory occurs most often with individuals who have some sort of arthritis, or any situation when the bones are moving against one another. What happens is the hip catches and you feel that sensation before you fall. The break is happening when you hit the floor. No one is imploding, I promise.
Q: How long will I be in the hospital for, and will I need to be on medication?
Thanks to advancements in joint replacement, we can get many patients home within one to two days after surgery, as opposed to years ago, when you might spend several days in the hospital, followed by a few weeks in inpatient rehabilitation. We do far more planning than ever before ahead of the surgery and work to minimize the affected area and help get you back on your feet, literally.
And once you are home, the goal is to get you back to your normal lives sooner. That generally doesn’t happen if you’re experiencing the negative side effects of narcotics and other pain-relieving medications, so we are using modern, multi-modal, non-narcotic medication approaches after surgery that offer excellent pain relief while not impairing function.