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Joint Replacement Surgery

Joints often become damaged due to injury or as a result of a medical condition such as Arthritis. When your joints are damaged, you may be in pain or find it hard to perform daily activities. In some cases, nonsurgical treatments like medications or physical therapy may relieve your pain and help you regain motion. However, nonsurgical treatments are not always successful and your physician may recommend a joint replacement surgery.

During a joint replacement surgery the damaged or arthritic joint is removed and replaced with a prosthesis. The prosthesis is a metal, plastic or ceramic device designed to replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.

Our team of specialists at UNC REX Healthcare perform more total joint replacement surgeries a year than any hospital in the Triangle. We’re also recognized as a Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center for hip and knee replacements, the most commonly performed joint replacements. UNC REX is ranked #4 in the country for having the lowest readmission rates within 30 days of discharge for knee and hip replacement patients.

Joint-Replacement Classes Cancelled

As of March 13, 2020 all REX Joint Replacement Classes are cancelled until further notice. For more information, please contact Please read the following guides for more information:

Types of Joint Replacement Surgeries

UNC REX Healthcare offers a wide range of joint replacement surgeries including:

  • Knee Replacement
  • Hip Replacement
  • Shoulder Replacements

Our Expertise


UNC REX Healthcare has been recognized as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery. Blue Distinction is a designation awarded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality specialty care - safely, effectively, and cost efficiently. Learn more about the Blue Distinction Center+ for Knee and Hip Replacement®.

What to Expect

Before having a joint replacement, we want you to be in the best health possible so you have the best opportunity at a successful surgery and recovery. It is important to know about risk factors that can affect your body's ability to recover. Some risk factors include: 

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Poor nutrition

Before scheduling surgery, your doctor may talk with you about ways you can improve your health. For example, weight loss or beginning a smoking cessation program. 

During your initial consultation, you’ll talk with your care team about how you’ll benefit from a total joint replacement and develop an individualized treatment plan. Your physician will also walk you through the surgery and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.

Knee Replacement:

  • Surgery will last between 1 to 2 hours
  • Recovery will last between 1 to 4 hours
  • Average hospital stay is 1 to 2 days

Hip Replacement:

  • Surgery will last between 1 - 2 hours
  • Recovery will last between 1 to 4 hours
  • Average hospital stay is 1 to 2 days

Pre-Operative Joint Class

It’s important that you’re prepared for your surgery and informed about the care you’ll need following your procedure. We offer free preparation classes to patients who are planning to undergo total knee or hip replacement surgery. No registration is required. For more information, call (919) 784-2082. No classes are held on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. 

During this class you will learn:

  • Valuable information about your surgery
  • What to expect following surgery
  • How to fully participate in your recovery
  • Equipment needed

Total Knee Replacement Classes
Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Wednesdays 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 
REX Critical Care Waiting Room

Total Hip Replacement Classes
Thursdays 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
REX Critical Care Waiting Room

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Beginning May 4, 2020


Knee Replacement Classes

Tuesdays 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Thursdays: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Hip Replacement Classes

Mondays: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Wednesdays: 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Free parking is available at the front of the main hospital. Enter through the patient tower entrance, take the first hallway on the right, and the classroom/waiting room is the first room on the right. 

Beginning on January 7th, valet parking will be available at the Patient Tower Entrance starting at 8:45 a.m. for patients attending the pre-operative joint class. 

Learn More

As of March 13, 2020 REX Joint Replacement Classes are cancelled until further notice. For more information, please contact;