Total Joint Replacement: Which Joints Can Be Replaced?
At Resurgens Orthopaedics Joint Replacement Center, we help thousands of patients each year get back in motion. Many patients have debilitating pain related to osteoarthritis, injury, or other conditions. If non-operative management, such as exercise, medications, physical therapy, injections, etc., is not helping then joint replacement may be an option. Joint replacements are very successful in most patients and allow most to return to an active lifestyle without pain. In general, joint replacement removes the damaged part of the joint and replaces it with an implant, usually made of metal, ceramic, and plastic. Hip and knee replacement are the most common joint replacements but others can be replaced as well.
Total Hip Replacement
In total hip replacement, the top of the thigh bone or femoral head is removed. This allows access to the hip socket (acetabulum) which is prepared for a metal socket with a plastic liner. A metal stem is placed into the top of the thigh bone and a metal or ceramic ball is placed on top of the stem. The metal or ceramic ball comes together with the plastic liner to form the new hip joint.
Total Knee Replacement
In total knee replacement, the knee cap is moved out of the way to allow access to the knee joint. Small amounts of bone and cartilage are removed and replaced with metal parts that cap the end of the thigh bone and the top of the shin bone. A piece of plastic is placed between the two metal components to create the knee joint. The backside of the patella is often resurfaced with a small piece of plastic.
Other Joint Replacement Procedures
Shoulders, elbows, ankles, and even wrists can be replaced but these are not as common as hip and knee replacements.
Recovery is getting easier! New surgical and anesthetic techniques are allowing patients to recover faster with better early function and less pain. Some patients are even able to go home the same day. If you are having joint pain or have already been told you need a joint replacement, make sure you are getting the best advice. Schedule an appointment with one of the physicians at Resurgens Orthopaedics Joint Replacement Center to discuss all of your options.