Total joint replacement surgery is a procedure used to replace a damaged joint with an artificial joint, or prosthesis. Also called arthroplasty, this procedure may be needed to reconstruct a damaged joint, provide lasting pain relief, restore the function of the joint, and/or protect the muscles, ligaments, and tendons around the joint. Almost any joint in the body can be replaced with arthroplasty, but the hip and knee joints are the most common.
Once joint replacement surgery is completed and the treatment area has healed, the prosthesis will feel and function like a natural joint. This can provide relief and resolve mobility issues from a range of conditions, including:
Osteoarthritis is the most common reason why people undergo joint replacement surgery. This condition is caused by the deterioration of joint cartilage; cartilage prevents friction in the joint with movement to prevent damage. So, when the cartilage degenerates, joint damage can occur. Osteoarthritis generally occurs due to the body’s natural aging process.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that impacts the lining of the joints. With this condition, the immune system mistakenly attacks the patient’s own tissues, leading to inflammation and pain. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can erode the bone and even cause joint deformity, which may require arthroplasty to restore the function of the joint.
A fracture may damage a joint to the degree that it requires joint replacement surgery. Specifically, fractures that damage the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones can require surgery to resolve pain and other symptoms. When this cartilage is damaged, movements that involve the affected joint can be extremely painful.
Also called avascular necrosis, osteonecrosis is a bone disease that causes the death of bone cells. If this condition occurs close to a joint, it can cause the joint surface to collapse and may lead to arthritis. Joint replacement surgery can protect a joint against damage from avascular necrosis.
For more information about total joint replacement, schedule an appointment at Hernando Orthopaedic & Spinal Surgery today.