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AAOS Now

Published 10/11/2022

OrthoInfo Content Helps Patients Navigate Hip and Knee Arthritis and Arthroplasty

Millions of people suffer from pain and loss of mobility due to hip and knee arthritis, and hundreds of thousands undergo hip and knee arthroplasty every year. Although advances in surgical techniques and devices, as well as surgeons’ expertise, have improved outcomes over the past several decades, many patients with arthritis still experience anxiety about the diagnosis and the prospect of having a hip or knee replaced.

Educating patients about what the diagnosis means and what to expect during and after treatment can go a long way toward alleviating their concerns. That’s why so many adult reconstruction surgeons rely on Orthoinfo, the Academy’s patient education website.

OrthoInfo offers orthopaedic practices a library of free educational resources, such as:

  • Articles on hip and knee diseases, including osteoarthritis, bursitis, osteonecrosis, and inflammatory hip arthritis
  • Articles about various treatments, including hip and knee replacement procedures
  • Handouts on hip and knee conditioning and rehabilitation exercises
  • Surgical videos and animations

“The information on OrthoInfo dispels myths about the disease process or procedure,” said Neil Sheth, MD, FAAOS, adult hip and knee reconstruction surgeon and the adult reconstruction section editor for OrthoInfo. “My advanced practice providers and I routinely use the content to educate patients when they have additional questions about hip or knee replacement surgery. It is also extremely valuable for educating patients on disease processes that do not require operative treatment.”

Practices can include links to OrthoInfo content on their websites or include links to specific articles in a patient’s after-visit summary. Articles also can be downloaded as PDFs and given to patients during visits. With more than 450 articles, videos, animations, and handouts in user-friendly formats—including Spanish translations of many articles—it is easy to “prescribe” relevant information for each patient at every stage, from initial symptoms through recovery.

For example, a patient diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis can be referred to the “Arthritis of the Knee” article and “Osteoarthritis of the Knee Animation” for information about the condition. If knee arthroplasty is recommended, the patient can view articles such as “Total Knee Replacement” or “Unicompartmental (Partial) Knee Replacement” or other surgery-
related content to learn more about a procedure. Postoperatively, OrthoInfo’s “Total Knee Replacement Exercise Guide” and “Activities after Total Knee Replacement” articles can help patients get back on their feet.

In addition to helping patients understand how surgery can improve their quality of life and what to expect during rehabilitation, OrthoInfo can help them prepare for procedures—with articles on important topics such as understanding pain management, addressing risk factors such as obesity and smoking before surgery, and setting up a home for successful recovery.

Of course, OrthoInfo is not just for adult reconstruction practices and patients; it covers an expansive range of musculoskeletal health topics. Patients can turn to OrthoInfo to learn about osteoporosis prevention, possible causes of shoulder pain, treatment options for sciatica, and much more.

All content is written, reviewed, and periodically updated by orthopaedic specialists to ensure accuracy and reflect the latest advances. Dr. Sheth is responsible for the adult reconstruction topics, whereas other members of the OrthoInfo Editorial Board develop content related to their specialties: foot and ankle, hand and wrist, pediatrics, shoulder and elbow, spine, sports medicine, trauma, and orthopaedic oncology.

“Because OrthoInfo content is developed by orthopaedic surgeons who treat the disease processes and perform the procedures being highlighted, you can feel confident that your patients are getting reliable information based on the most up-to-date findings and practices,” Dr. Sheth assured. “Having this information readily available empowers patients to actively participate in and feel more satisfied about their care.”