Dr. Owen Nelson Explains How Uniontown is Making Great Strides in Joint Surgery
Owen Nelson, M.D., is a Uniontown Orthopedic Surgeon with more than 18 years of experience performing joint replacement surgeries. We asked him to answer the most frequently asked questions about this important procedure.
What Joints Can Benefit From Joint Replacement?
"Joints affected by arthritis are primary candidates. Many joints can benefit from surgery, but by far the most common surgeries we do are hip, shoulder and knee replacement. Reconstructions of the hand and elbow are done less frequently."
What Other Types of Procedures Do You Do?
"There are many alternative procedures for treating painful joints. We fuse bones together, rebuild deteriorated joints, correct deformities or remove a bone or bone part."
When is Surgery Recommended?
"When a diseased or injured joint causes chronic pain and disability - far beyond the occasional aches and pains - we may recommend surgery if we feel there's a good chance of a successful outcome. A past injury or a diseased joint could all be possible candidates."
Hip Fracture: An Age-Old Problem
Your hip supports a force equal to triple your body weight with every step you take. And of the 200,000 hip fractures that occur every year, about 50% of those occur in people over the age of 80. The most common risk factors are osteoporosis, medications that reduce alertness and insufficient calcium and protein.
So what can you do to minimize your risk? Get at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily from milk, dairy products and calcium supplements and:
Uniontown Stays One Step Ahead With New Hip Procedure
- Ask your doctor if modest weight training is right for you; it builds bone and reduces the risk of falling.
- Protect against falls, especially at home.
- If you're a woman, ask your doctor about estrogen therapy after menopause.
- Use a cane or walker if you feel unsteady.
Pending FDA approval of a new hip joint that combines a metal socket with a metal ball (as opposed to traditional metal socket and plastic ball), Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Owen Nelson expects that Uniontown will be among the first hospitals in the region to introduce this new hip design. Although this hip joint is not yet covered by insurances, it shows great promise and will likely be covered at some point in the future. "The life expectancy of the typical total hip replacement is currently 12-15 years. With this new hip, it can go as high as 30-40 years," comments Dr. Nelson.Return to LEARN MORE