Orthopedic care

Our bone and joint department specializes in joint replacement surgery and the treatment of orthopedic conditions. Memorial Health also proudly offers comprehensive hip, knee and shoulder replacement surgery and follow-up care. Our program includes a team of specialists working together to provide evidence-based medicine with proven outcomes.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, call your physician's office or contact Memorial Health’s bone and joint department at (912) 350-9676.

Pre-surgical classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. Call (912) 350-3603 for more information.

Our treatment options

Memorial Health offers many treatments, including:

Orthopedic splints and casts

The occupational and physical therapy teams at Memorial Health work together to help you manage your orthopedic problems. This includes the use of splints and casts made from thermoplastics, fiberglass or plaster.

We provide upper and lower extremity splinting. Upper extremity splints include custom hand splints fabricated or ordered in durable fabrics. A certified orthotist is available to provide expertise in the latest materials and techniques for lower extremity splinting. Custom braces and orthotics are cast on-site. Serial casting is available for upper and lower soft tissue and muscle elongation.

Hip replacement

Total hip replacement involves replacing a hip joint damaged by wear, injury or disease. This procedure is also called open hip replacement or total hip arthroplasty.

The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint and is your largest weight-bearing joint. The ball-shaped top of the femur (thigh bone) sits in the acetabulum socket (hollow area) of the pelvic bone. The joint is held together by ligaments and muscles. The socket is lined with cartilage (firm, flexible tissue) that can become damaged or worn away, causing pain. Arthritis, infection, injury or loss of blood supply to the ball of the femur can damage the joint. You may need to have a hip replacement when you have unrelieved pain or problems walking.

During surgery

You will receive anesthesia to ensure that you do not feel anything. Your surgeon will make an incision on your hip. The damaged parts of your hip joint are removed and replaced by artificial implants made of metal, ceramic or plastic material. They are fixed tightly inside your femur and pelvic bones. Once in place, they are joined together just like a ball fitting in a socket. Your wound will be closed with stitches or staples.

Our surgeons offer both anterior and posterior hip replacement. Posterior/traditional hip replacement involves making an incision on the side or back of the hip. The anterior approach is less invasive and involves an incision on the front of the hip. During the anterior approach, the muscle is not detached from the pelvis or femur.

After surgery

You will be taken to a recovery room, where you will stay until you are fully awake. Caregivers will watch you closely to ensure you do not have any complications. You will be asked to use an incentive spirometer to help improve how your lungs work and will receive pain medication as needed.

Discharge and follow up

The average hospital stay after joint replacement surgery is two days, and you will be asked to follow up with your surgeon within 10 to 14 days. Because every person’s body is different, you may require a longer hospital stay. You will be given specific guidelines to follow at home.

Joint replacement

Joint replacement is the process of surgically replacing a damaged joint with a synthetic joint to eliminate pain and restore movement. Joint replacement is beneficial for people with pain that is so severe it limits their ability to walk, work or perform simple activities.

You may be a candidate for joint replacement if you suffer from osteoarthritis. This condition, also known as degenerative joint disease, affects about 30 million Americans. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that covers the end of a bone gradually wears away, leading to pain and stiffness. It usually affects weight-bearing joints such as knees and hips. Joint replacement may be an option when osteoarthritis limits everyday activities such as walking and bending.

Before joint replacement surgery, we recommend you make the following preparations:

  • Attend one of the pre-surgical classes held every week at Memorial Health.
  • Pack comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, such as shorts and t-shirts for therapy sessions.
  • Bring a detailed list of your medications.
  • Notify your insurance company and verify your health insurance benefits.
  • Arrange for transportation from Memorial Health to your home.
  • Make meals in advance and stock up on foods that are easy to prepare.
  • Tape down rug corners and electrical cords and make sure walkways are clear.
  • Place regularly used items at arm-level.
  • Pre-fill any prescriptions you may need after surgery.
  • Follow your pre-operative instructions.
  • Begin doing exercises to strengthen your upper body and the leg that is not having surgery.