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Current Trends in Hip and Knee Replacement

Hip and knee replacements have come a long way in the past 10 years. From advanced surgical techniques to innovative post-operative care, individuals who undergo a hip or knee replacement stand better chances at full recovery than ever before.

Andrew Petrella, M.D., is an orthopaedic surgeon at Citrus Orthopaedic & Joint Institute, a partner of The Orthopaedic Institute. He serves as the Medical Director of the Bone and Joint Center at Bayfront Hospital at Seven Rivers in Crystal River, Florida. Seven Rivers is one of a select few Centers of Excellence with an entire unit dedicated to joint-replacement patients. Dr. Petrella credits improved treatment outcomes to the organization’s advanced physical therapy program, which focuses on getting patients up and moving directly following surgery.

Post-Op Care: Then & Now

Not long ago, the standard post-operative care for hip and knee replacement surgeries took many months with the patient cared for in a nursing facility. However, in the past few years, orthopaedic surgeons have been pushing for more active post-operative care and have experienced faster recovery times and improved outcomes.

When patients get a hip or knee replacement through Citrus Orthopaedic & Joint Institute, they are automatically enrolled in a pre and post-operative physical therapy course. This course is geared around keeping the patient active and moving throughout the entire recovery process.

The Physical Therapy Program

To improve our patients’ treatment outcomes and increase joint function following surgery, they are enrolled in an advanced physical therapy program. The program begins 3-4 weeks before surgery where the patient will engage in pre-operative care with their joint coach and physical therapist.

The pre-operative program is designed to train the patient in the exercises they will be performing after surgery. Practicing these exercises before surgery uses muscle memory to help make the exercises easier and more effective post-surgery.

The post-operative physical therapy program is timely and rigorous to keep the patient active. Physical therapy begins right after surgery with the patient walking around on their new hip or knee the day of surgery. Physical therapy through one-on-one sessions and group classes continue for 3-4 weeks, rebuilding strength and function of the new joint.

Rather than staying in the hospital or a nursing facility, the patient will be sent home as soon as two nights following surgery, returning only for their physical therapy classes and post-op follow-up appointments.

Benefits of This Advanced Physical Therapy Program

Dr. Petrella’s patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgeries are doing so in an accredited Orthopaedic Center of Excellence facility. This accreditation was earned due to the implementation of the successful, advanced physical therapy program outlined above.

Through this program, patients experience improved treatment outcomes following joint replacement surgery. Patients have increased early use of their joint with less pain and faster recovery. Dr. Petrella has also noticed that patients in this program experience fewer hospital visits due to complications and lower infection rates post-surgery.

Dr. Petrella encourages movement and physical therapy after joint replacement surgery to increase function and mobility. Learn how the orthopaedic specialists at Citrus Orthopaedic & Joint Institute and The Orthopaedic Institute can help you thrive through your hip and knee replacement by visiting or

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