What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?
Joint replacement surgery or joint arthroplasty is the surgery to replace the damaged joints. Joints are the intersection where two or more bones come together, as in the knee, hip, and shoulder.
Joint replacement surgery involves removing a damaged joint and inserting a new one. Sometimes, the orthopaedic surgeon will not remove the entire joint but will only replace or fix the damaged parts.
A new joint (prosthesis) made of plastic, metal or combination of both, maybe cemented into one place or not cemented. The new bone grows into it.
A cemented joint is used more for older people who are less active and patients with “weak” bones. The cement holds the new joint to the bone. A non-cemented joint is used more for younger, more active people and patients with good bone quality. But this may take longer to heal.
All surgeries have risk factors. Joint surgery risk depends on the patient’s health before surgery, how severe are arthritis and the type of surgery. Many hospitals and doctors have decades of experience replacing joints and this reduces risks. The doctor will inform the patient of the risks involved. The orthopaedic doctor will be involved before, during and after the surgery to ensure a quick recovery.
Do I Need to Have My Joint Replaced?
The doctor will advise if a joint needs to be replaced, after studying the results of the X-ray or other tests. The doctor might use the arthroscope (a small, lighted tube) to look into the joint for damage. A tissue test could also be done.
A less-frequently used option called osteotomy could also be advised where the surgeon “aligns” the joint. The bone or bones around the joint are cut to improve alignment. This can be simpler than joint replacement but takes longer to heal.
Joint replacement is often the solution for people with constant joint pain, and having trouble doing routine actions such as walking, climbing stairs, and taking a bath.
What Happens During the Surgery:
What Happens After the Surgery:
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