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COVID-19: What Joint Pain Patients Should Know

Dr. Christopher Travers, an Orthopaedic Surgeon with a focus on Joint Replacement, discusses what Joint Pain Patients should know during COVID-19.

Penn Orthopaedics offers a Joint Replacement Program that brings together a team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists who take a whole-body approach to diagnosing and treating arthritis and chronic pain in the hip and knee. We perform the most advanced hip and knee reconstruction techniques, including minimally invasive surgery and robot-assisted surgery.

We also use technologically advanced materials to provide long-term benefits, such as ceramic bearings in hip replacements and knee replacements. Ceramics, as opposed to plastic and metal implants, have shown a decrease in the rate of revision surgery, bone deterioration and the loosening and/or dislocation of the joints.

Joint Pain Conditions

The Penn Joint Replacement Program treats many conditions that affect the hip and knee, including:

Joint Pain Treatments and Services

At the Penn Joint Replacement Program, our entire team of specialists collaborate across multiple disciplines to ensure a comprehensive, seamless continuum of care for individuals undergoing joint replacement procedures. Our team works together to provide a wide range of treatments — not just surgery — to help you return to an active, pain-free lifestyle.

Robotic Joint Replacement

Precision is vital in a joint replacement procedure. The more exact a surgeon’s measurements, the better they can plan and execute your surgery. Penn Orthopaedic surgeons are uniquely equipped with several state-of-the-art options for robotic joint replacements: Navio, Cori, and Mako surgical systems. These systems make joint replacement procedures available to more people than ever before and offer precise, accurate, patient-specific care.

Robotic Total Hip Replacement

At Penn Orthopaedics, the MAKO robotic system is used to perform robotic hip replacement surgery. Known for its exceptional measuring and surgical planning abilities, Mako’s robotic arm is used during hip replacement surgery to support your surgeon with increased precision and accuracy. The tool enhances your surgeon’s experience and skills, helping them to preserve your natural anatomy and optimally align your hip. In turn, this increases the odds of a fast recovery and improved mobility after surgery.

Your orthopaedic surgeon will work with you to determine whether a robotic-assisted hip replacement surgery is right for your lifestyle, goals, and unique anatomy.

Robotic Total and Partial Knee Replacements

Total and partial knee replacements can be performed with assistance from the Navio or the Mako surgical systems – even for the most complex knee joint disease. Both systems are designed to increase precision, take highly-accurate measurements, and guide surgery.

The Mako system requires specialized CAT scans before surgery. These pictures give the robot the measurements it needs to create a 3D picture of your knee. From there, your surgeon uses that image to choose the right implant and plan for the best positioning – all before you enter the operating room. Mako is also used during surgery: it provides guidance for optimal cutsand the right alignment for your implant.

The Navio and Cori systems function a bit differently, taking detailed measurements right at the beginning of the procedure. Your surgeon registers the knee without the requirement of a CT scan and the robotic system creates a 3D model of the knee to allow the surgeon to develop a customized surgical plan, including choosing the best type and placement of the implant. Once the plan is in place, the system will also help your surgeon position the implant optimally. All of this takes place in the operating room.

Robotic Ligament-Sparing Knee Replacements

Conventional knee replacement surgeries require cutting at least one ligament. However, preserving all four ligaments may lead to a better-feeling artificial knee after recovery and may improve recovery times.

This procedure requires a high level of skill and accuracy. Penn is the only health system in the Philadelphia region that offers a conventional ligament-sparing total knee replacement.

The Navio and Cori surgical systems makes this unique procedure available to more people than ever before. The robot’s precision and accurate measurements are key. Using the systems’ exceptional measuring abilities, your surgeon can replace your knee while minimizing disruption to as much of your anatomy as possible.

You may be a candidate for a ligament-sparing total knee replacement if you’re highly active and your bones and ligaments are healthy prior to surgery.

The Penn Joint Replacement Program Advantage

If you need joint replacement, you’ll want a team of experienced surgeons and physicians to share ideas and data with each other to determine the right treatment approach for you.

Our team excels in collaborative work and treats each patient as a unique case, because no two joints are alike. We strive to preserve the joint whenever possible and to replace the joint only when necessary.

Our surgeons are national leaders in the field of hip and knee replacement. We continually conduct research to improve care and outcomes, and we teach the next generation of surgeons today’s advancements and evolving technology.

Our program offers:

  • Comprehensive rehabilitation, which plays an important role in maximizing physical function and quality of life
  • Expert anesthesiologists and perioperative care team, who use sophisticated technology to monitor your vital signs (i.e., heart rate, blood pressure and breathing) to ensure your surgery is as safe as possible
  • Multimodal Perioperative Pain Protocol, an innovative pain management protocol used at Penn for joint replacement patients to alleviate pain without increasing the risk of opioid overuse and addiction
  • Same-day joint replacement – For joint replacement patients in good health with a recovery support system at home, Penn Orthopaedics offers the option to be discharged on the same day of your surgery to begin your recovery at home.
  • Cutting-edge robotic joint replacement technology that takes exceptionally precise measurements, helps your surgeon account for your unique anatomy, and enhances the accuracy of your surgery – providing for optimal joint alignment
  • Joint replacement classes to provide you and a family member information on what to expect before, during and after your surgery

    When your surgery was scheduled, you should have scheduled an information session at one of the following locations:

    • Pennsylvania Hospital patients:
      Zubrow Auditorium
      Preston Building, 1st Floor
      800 Spruce Street
      Philadelphia, PA 19107
    • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center patients:
      Penn Medicine University City
      3737 Market Street, 8th Floor
      Philadelphia, PA 19104
    • Penn Medicine Radnor patients:
      250 King of Prussia Road
      Radnor, PA 19087
    • Penn Medicine Cherry Hill patients:
      1865 Route 70 East
      Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

Joint Replacement Research Studies

One of the benefits of being treated at Penn Orthopaedics is that we are involved in a wide range of research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania. This allows us to bring you new innovations and the latest treatment options.

The Biedermann Lab for Orthopaedic Research at the University of Pennsylvania is a world-class biomechanics laboratory where new treatment concepts are explored and existing and new technologies are tested to improve the standard of care and quality of life in patients.

As one of many ongoing studies, the lab is currently working with Apple and Zimmer Biomet in a new clinical study to help prepare and educate joint replacement patients.

In This Section

Video Guides

Watch our educational videos to learn what to expect and how to prepare for hip and knee replacement surgery and recovery.

Joint Replacement Treatment Team

Meet the team of experts who specialize in hip replacements and knee replacements.

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