Joint replacement surgery usually requires the orthopedic surgeon to remove the damaged part of the bone and replace it with an artificial joint.
Often made from plastic or metal depending on a range of factors, the artificial joint is attached to the surrounding structures using a material such as acrylic cement. Although there are several reasons you may need a total joint replacement, osteoarthritis is a common cause. Osteoarthritis is a condition often brought on by age and occurs when the cartilage surrounding a joint breaks down.
Other reasons you may need a joint replacement include joint injuries, deformities and Rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions can affect several different joints, including the knees, hips and shoulders.
Knee replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to remove existing damage to the joint and replace it with metal or plastic. The knee is essentially made up of two long leg bones held together by tendons, muscles and ligaments with cartilage serving as a shock absorber and protector of the knee. By repairing and replacing damaged parts of the knee with artificial material, the knee can once again work as designed allowing you to regain normal range of motion and enabling you to resume activities like walking and climbing stairs without pain.
A procedure in which a doctor replaces a damaged or painful hip joint with an artificial one often made from metal or plastic, hip replacement surgery is an option for patients who have tried other treatments with no success. Although you may remain in the hospital for a few days to a week, you could be well on your way to recovery within one day of surgery. Within a few days you may begin physical therapy and be up and walking with a walker or crutches. Your physical therapist will work with you to get you moving and back to doing the activities you enjoy as quickly as possible. Once you’ve reached full recovery you may find that routine daily activities become easier and more enjoyable than they have in a long time.
Less common than knee or hip replacements, shoulder replacement surgery is a viable option for those who have experienced a traumatic injury or suffer from chronic pain in the shoulder. The shoulder is made up of three bones: the humerus, scapula and clavicle. As a ball-and-socket joint, the surfaces of the bones where they touch are covered with cartilage which enables them to move effortlessly. There are also muscles and tendons surrounding the structures, which work together to provide a greater range of motion than any other joint in the human body. Shoulder replacements are performed by replacing the damaged parts with artificial parts, also known as a prosthesis.
Whether you can’t move the way you used to, or you have suffered a severe joint injury you may need a total joint replacement. The good news is that joint replacement surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries and is known for helping to ease pain and provide a wider range of motion in the affected joint.