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Joint Replacement

Joint Replacement

Arthroplasty is also called joint replacement, is surgery to replace a damaged joint with an artificial joint (made of metal, ceramic or plastic). Providers usually replace the entire joint (total joint replacement). Less often, they replace only the damaged part of the joint. Hips, knees and shoulders are the most common joints they replace.

Replacement arthroplasty, or 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.

The definition of arthroplasty is surgical joint replacement. During the procedure, your healthcare provider removes a damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial joint. The artificial joint (prosthesis) can be metal, ceramic or heavy-duty plastic. The new joint looks like the natural joint and moves in a similar way.

Surgeons can replace joints in any part of your body, but the most common types of arthroplasty are hip replacement and knee replacement.

Most people who get this procedure need a total joint replacement. A small number of people are good candidates for a partial joint replacement. This procedure only replaces the part of the joint that’s damaged. Recovery time for arthroplasty varies. It depends on your age and lifestyle, the type of procedure and the joint you have replaced.

Joint replacement procedures conducted by the Orthopedic Surgeon at Shreya Hospital can help you move without pain and stiffness. After a joint replacement, many people can take part in activities they once enjoyed. These surgeries greatly improve quality of life and overall health by allowing people to have an active lifestyle.

Symptoms those cause Orthopedic Surgeon to recommend Joint Replacement:

  • Joint pain that hasn’t gotten better with nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy (PT), medications, bracing, injections, walking assistive devices and rest.
  • Joint stiffness and limited mobility that make it difficult or impossible for you to do your everyday activities.
  • Swelling (inflammation) that doesn’t improve with medications or lifestyle changes.

These symptoms can result from several conditions, including:

  • Arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fractures, including a hip fracture.
  • Joint abnormalities, such as hip dysplasia.
  • Avascular necrosis (lack of blood supply to the bone).

These symptoms can result from several conditions, including:

  • Arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fractures, including a hip fracture.
  • Joint abnormalities, such as hip dysplasia.
  • Avascular necrosis (lack of blood supply to the bone).

Following Joints can be replaced:

  • Ankles.
  • Elbows.
  • Hips.
  • Knees.
  • Shoulders.
  • Toes.
  • Wrists.

Diagnosis before Joint Replacement

Before arthroplasty, you may need several tests to evaluate your overall health such as blood work, an electrocardiogram and a chest X-ray. Depending on your health history, you may need to visit your primary care provider or another specialist for pre-operative evaluation. Some procedures require a CT scan or MRI for surgical planning.

Procedures

Right before your procedure, you will receive anesthesia. This ensures you won’t feel pain during arthroplasty.

Your surgeon makes incisions (cuts) and removes the damaged joint. Then they replace it with an artificial joint. They use stitches, staples or surgical glue to close the incisions. Your provider wraps the joint in a bandage. You may also need a brace or sling.

Surgeons can do some joint replacement procedures using minimally invasive techniques. These techniques use fewer incisions and special tools. The recovery time for minimally invasive procedures can be less than it is for traditional procedures. Your surgeon will recommend the most appropriate procedure for you.

After Joint Replacement

After surgery, you will feel some pain. The first few days after your procedure, you should:

  • Avoid physical activity. Take time to rest as you recover from surgery. Your provider may recommend placing ice or a cold compress on the new joint for about 20 minutes at a time.
  • Perform your physical therapy and home exercise program as prescribed. It is important to follow your provider’s instructions. They will not only help in your recovery to restore function but also help to protect the new joint.
  • Elevate. Depending on the joint you had replaced, your provider may recommend keeping the joint elevated while you rest. For example, if you had a knee replacement, rest with your foot on a stool or chair instead of the floor.
  • Keep your incisions clean and covered. Follow your provider’s incision care instructions carefully. Ask your provider when you can remove the dressing, take a shower or bathe after your procedure.
  • Take pain medication. Your provider may recommend over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prescription pain medication. Be sure to follow your provider’s instructions when taking pain medication. You may also need drugs to reduce swelling or prevent blood clots.