Joint replacement surgery, is a procedure of orthopedic surgery in which an arthritic or dysfunctional joint surface is replaced with an orthopedic prosthesis. Joint replacement is considered as a treatment when severe joint pain or dysfunction is not alleviated by less-invasive therapies.
Joint replacement surgery is becoming more common with knees and hips replaced most often.
A new joint, called a prosthesis (praas-THEE-sis), can be made of plastic, metal, or both. It may be cemented into place or not cemented, so that your bone will grow into it. Both methods may be combined to keep the new joint in place.
As we age, cartilage, the tissue in our joints that acts as a cushion between bone surfaces, grows brittle and begins to wear away until we have bone rubbing against bone. That rubbing leads to inflammation, pain and stiffness in the joints, also known as arthritis.
A cemented joint is used more often in older people who do not move around as much and in people with “weak” bones. The cement holds the new joint to the bone. An uncemented joint is often recommended for younger, more active people and those with good bone quality. It may take longer to heal, because it takes longer for bone to grow and attach to it.
Because the knee, hip and ankle are weight-bearing joints, the stresses and strains of living, such as injuries, weight, occupation, and genetics affect how much and how fast the cartilage wears away.
Everyone loses cartilage at a different rate. Moderate degrees of wear can cause intermittent or mild pain, which can often be managed with treatments ranging from over-the-counter or prescription medications to exercise, weight loss and physical therapy.
If, however, cartilage wear and the accompanying pain reach a point where the normal functions of everyday life become difficult, joint replacement surgery – specifically knee or hip – may be the appropriate option.
Joint Replacement Procedures
- Total hip replacement
- Total and partial knee replacement
- Complex hip revision
- Knee reconstruction
- Anterior total hip replacement
- Hip preservation and impingement
- Pelvic, femoral and tibial osteotomy
- Hip and knee arthroscopy
- Patella-femoral knee replacement
- Complex knee revision