What to Expect
If you have been referred to Orthopaedics New England for hip or knee pain, we want you to feel comfortable in our care, and that starts with knowing what to expect from your initial consultation to your surgery to post-op care and follow-up visits.
Our orthopaedic surgeons perform joint surgery at the Connecticut Joint Replacement Institute (CJRI), a part of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford. With its state-of-the-art facilities and well-appointed private patient rooms, CJRI performs the highest volume of joint replacement surgeries in Connecticut.
At your first visit, your orthopaedic surgeon or one of our physician assistants will discuss your medical history and perform a physical examination. He or she will ask a number of detailed questions, primarily to gain additional insight into the exact symptoms and limitations you are experiencing and to help formulate a diagnosis.
During the physical exam, your provider can get a very good idea of what may be going on with your hips and knees simply by observing how you sit, stand, and walk. Your provider will check your range of motion and test the stability of ligaments within your joints.
Your provider will examine your joints for evidence of erythema (redness), effusion (or fluid collection), signs of new or old injuries/scars, and for internal damage. Specific tests and maneuvers may be used to check for problems such as torn cartilage, loose bodies in the joint, etc.
Not all orthopaedic problems require X-rays (such as diagnosing bursitis or tendinitis), but most arthritic conditions – especially when surgery is being contemplated – require imaging of the joints. Surgeons can assess many things on X-rays, including:
- Bone quality
- Articular cartilage and joint space
- Presence of cysts or bone spurs
- Loose bodies in the joints
- New or healed fractures
- Anatomic deformities (such as "bowleggedness")
- Congenital problems such as hip dysplasia
If you have had previous X-rays or other studies (such as MRIs or bone scans), it is a good idea to bring the actual films with you to the office or a digital file of them. A picture really is worth a thousand words: an orthopaedic surgeon cannot tell what the exact problem is, how severe it is, or how to treat it without reviewing the films.
If you don’t have previous X-rays with you at your visit, or if the previous films are not of sufficient quality or taken with the wrong technique to show what we need to see, we may repeat the X-rays in our office.
If you are a candidate for surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will explain the options. There are various techniques for hip and knee joint reconstruction, including total and partial joint replacement, joint resurfacing procedures, joint revision for previous surgeries, and related procedures such as osteotomy and arthroscopy.
Based on your lifestyle and goals for recovery, your doctor will recommend the surgical approach and treatment plan that is best for you. While the decision is ultimately yours, the surgeon will present you with all options so you can make an informed decision.
If you have joint pain and would like to meet with one of our orthopaedic surgeons, call our office at (203) 598-0700 or use our online form to request an appointment. We have three offices to serve you in Middlebury, New Milford, and Farmington, Connecticut.