Joint replacement involves removing the painful, damaged parts of the hip, knee or shoulder and replacing them with artificial parts called prostheses or implants. The numbers of these surgeries are increasing throughout the country, including at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital where the number of orthopedic surgeries, including those involving joint replacement, grew by 450 percent during 2011.
Because of the number of joint replacements that are being done, there is much interest in the related technology and in the replacement parts being used. Residents of Richmond County and surrounding communities will be able to get that information during an upcoming visit of the Zimmer Mobile Learning Center to the Richmond Memorial campus.
The 45-foot mobile facility is scheduled to be at the hospital from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. The hands-on educational session is free and will be open to the public.
Each year since 1992, the educational facility has visited thousands of locations and averaged about 40,000 miles traveling across the U.S. to offer state-of-the-art information on joint replacement and other orthopedic procedures.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the number of joint replacements is skyrocketing. Currently, more than 475,000 U.S. residents undergo knee replacements annually with the number expected to reach 3.4 million per year by 2030. The Academy also estimates that the number of annual hip replacements, currently 234,000, will double by 2030.