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Orthopedic Surgery: Joint Replacement FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Joint ReplacementOrthopaedic FAQ

  1. What are Dr. Pritchett’s joint replacement specialties?
  2. Does Dr. Pritchett perform minimally invasive joint surgery?
  3. What are Dr. Pritchett’s sports medicine specialties?
  4. What is robotic assisted surgery, and how does it benefit joint replacement?
  5. What is hip resurfacing, and how does it differ from total hip replacement?
  6. What is shoulder resurfacing, and how does it differ from total shoulder replacement?

1. What are Dr. Pritchett’s joint replacement specialties?

Dr. Pritchett specializes in total hip replacement, total shoulder, total knee replacement, and cruciate retaining knee replacement. Total joint replacement consists of the removal and replacement of the entire arthritic or damaged joint with a prosthetic implant. The replacement of the damaged or diseased joint with a prosthesis will restore pain free functionality to the joint.

Total joint replacement is commonly recommended for the treatment of chronic conditions that cause degeneration of the protective cartilage within joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. This procedure can also be required for injures obtained during traumatic events, such as a skiing accident.

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2. Does Dr. Pritchett perform minimally invasive joint surgery?

Yes, Dr. Pritchett performs minimally invasive joint surgery techniques whenever possible. Dr. Pritchett will consider both the type and the extent of the injury, as well as the patient’s age and fitness level before recommending a minimally invasive surgical approach.

Due to the potential advantages of minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Pritchett will use this technique in many of his procedures, including joint reconstruction and total joint replacement. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include a smaller incision, reduced muscle and tissue disruption, shorter recovery time, and less scarring.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Sports Medicine3. What are Dr. Pritchett’s sports medicine specialties?

Dr. Pritchett specializes in the treatment of sports-related injuries due to the overexertion and tearing of muscles and ligaments. Overexertion can be caused by constant repetitive motion, such as a tennis swing, while muscle tears often result when a ligament is stretched beyond its normal range, such as due to a traumatic injury. Examples of sports related surgical procedures are anterior cruiciate reconstruction and rotator cuff repair. Many sports related injuries are treated arthroscopically.

While commonly used to treat sports-related injuries, sports medicine treatments are not limited to injuries caused by athletic activities. The practice of sports medicine can also be used in the treatment of injuries caused by inflammation or stress.

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4. What is robotic-assisted surgery, and how does it benefit joint replacement?

Robotic assisted surgery is a surgical technique that allows Dr. Pritchett to perform procedures with more precision compared to traditional surgeries. Dr. Pritchett uses a robotic arm and navigation system to remove and replace either the damaged portions of the joint or the entire joint.

The advantages of a robotic-assisted surgery for joint replacement are a shorter recovery time, due to less disruption of the tissue and ligaments during surgery, and a more natural feeling joint, because of the precision of the positioning of the prosthesis. Robotic assistance can also be used in both hip and knee replacement surgery. With robotic assistance, Dr. Pritchett is able to isolate and treat only the damaged areas of the joint, while keeping the remainder of the joint intact.

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5. What is hip resurfacing, and how does it differ from total hip replacement?

Hip resurfacing is a surgical procedure in which the femoral head, or ball of the hip joint, is trimmed and covered with a smooth metal covering, while the damaged bone and cartilage of the hip socket is removed and replaced completely by a metal shell. Total hip replacement surgery consists of the total removal and replacement of the damaged joint with a prosthesis.

The advantages of hip resurfacing, in comparison to total hip replacement, are a decreased risk of hip dislocation, more natural walking pattern, and greater range of motion in the joint. By replacing only the damaged or diseased portions of the joint, this procedure will also cause less trauma to the tissue surrounding the joint and will preserve more of the natural bone.

Hip resurfacing procedures are typically recommended for patients with severe osteoarthritis. Dr. Pritchett will consider several factors when recommending hip resurfacing including the patient’s age, bone strength and health, and body frame.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Shoulder Resurfacing6. What is shoulder resurfacing, and how does it differ from total shoulder replacement?

Shoulder resurfacing is much like hip resurfacing. The ball part of the shoulder is smoothed (made back into round) with a shaping tool. A metal shell of the exact natural size is then placed on the bone to recreate a completely smooth new humeral head. A similar shaping and placement of a new surface is performed for the shoulder socket (glenoid). The shoulder is put back together and then it will function typically in a completely normal fashion.

During a shoulder replacement the ball part of the joint is entirely removed and replacement with an artificial ball that is held in place with a spike (stem) inside the shaft of the upper arm bone (humerus).

A resurfacing procedure is a less invasive procedure and it will have more functional capability than a shoulder replacement. Both procedures reliably reduce pain and increase function.

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Last Modified: July 30, 2014