Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is the difference between the Orthopedics Center and the Joint Care Center?

The Joint Care Center is where most individuals will be assigned if they require total joint replacement.

The Orthopedics Center is designed to provide exceptional care for patients who don't require total joint replacements.

Is surgery the only option for joint pain?

No. Members of our team will work with you on an individual basis to determine what is best for your situation. The Reading Hospital offers free seminars that outline treatment options.

How do I contact Orthopedics Center at Reading Hospital?

484-628-HELP (4357)

How do I choose an orthopedic surgeon?

There is a complete list of orthopedic surgeons on the hospital's Medical Staff in the Looking for a Doctor section of this website. Many surgeons specialize in specific areas of orthopedic surgery.

What is a fracture?

Fractures are breaks in the bone that are often caused by a blow or a fall. A fracture may be classified as a simple fracture (a thin fracture that may not run through the entire bone), or a compound fracture, in which the broken bone protrudes through the skin. Most fractures occur in the arms and legs. Symptoms may include tenderness over the bone, swelling of the affected area, deformity of the limb, and increased pain upon movement.

What are stress fractures?

Stress fractures are weak spots or small cracks in the bone caused by continuous overuse. Stress fractures often occur in the foot after training for basketball, running, and other sports. The bones in the midfoot (metatarsals) in runners are especially vulnerable to stress fractures.

Diagnosis of a stress fracture usually is confirmed with a complete medical history and a physical examination. X-rays often cannot detect stress fractures at first because they are so fine. Once calluses form around the fracture, an x-ray can confirm a stress fracture. Sometimes, a bone scan is performed to detect a stress fracture.

What is a hip fracture?

The hip is a joint where the thigh bone, femur, connects to the pelvis with muscles. A fracture is a break of the thigh bone in the hip area. The exact location of your fracture will help your doctor decide how to repair your hip. Your doctor will discuss this with you before you are taken to surgery.

If I need surgery, how long will I have to remain in the hospital?

Approximately three to five days.

Where do I go after my hospitalization?

There are three possibilities: home, an acute rehabilitation facility, or a subacute or extended care facility.

Home: if you go directly home from the Hospital, you may receive therapy as an outpatient. Knee replacement patients may need therapy as much as three times per week. Please discuss questions about outpatient therapy with your surgeon or therapist. Be aware that you will need transportation to and from outpatient therapy! Your therapist and social worker will work together to obtain any special equipment or services that you may need at home.

Acute Rehabilitation Facility: you will receive approximately three hours of physical and occupational therapy daily; this intensity of therapy may help you go home faster.

Subacute Rehabilitation or Extended Care Facility: at such a center, you will receive about 1-1/2 hours of physical and occupational therapy each day.

What determines whether I need to go to a rehabilitation center or can go home following surgery?

Primarily your progress during your physical therapy sessions immediately after surgery. The layout of your home, as well as the amount and kind of support you have there, are important considerations. Your physician, case manager, therapists, and nursing team will help you plan for your discharge.

If I need to go to a rehab center, how long will I be there?

Five to seven days. Keep in mind that total knee replacement patients may require outpatient physical therapy even after they leave the rehab center.

If I need surgery, when can I expect to return to work?

Recovery time is different for each individual. For total joint replacements, plan on returning to work in about three months.