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Arthroplasty Can Restore a Damaged Joint to Working Condition

If you're living with arthritis or one of many other joint related conditions, you may consider arthroplasty a treatment option.

Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure that can help relieve pain and improve function in people with joint issues. Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure involving a joint's reconstruction or replacement. The word "arthro" comes from the Greek word for joint, and "plasty" comes from the Greek word meaning to shape or mold. The purpose of arthroplasty is to relieve pain and restore function to a damaged joint. Depending on which joint is being treated, there are different types of arthroplasty. In this article, we will look at the different types of procedures available, and the risks and benefits of surgery.

When is Arthroplasty Needed?

Arthroplasty may be needed when other treatments, such as physical therapy and medications, have not helped relieve symptoms or if the joint has been damaged.

Arthritis is a common reason for arthroplasty. There are several different varieties of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the one that affects joints the most frequently. It occurs when the cartilage that protects the ends of bones deteriorates, which can happen due to age, injury, or joint overuse. Other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also damage the joints.

Arthroplasty may also be needed to treat a joint that an injury has damaged, such as a fracture or dislocation. This may happen due to a fall, car accident, or trauma. The joint may also be damaged by infection or tumors. The procedure will differ depending on the type of injury.

Occasionally, arthroplasty may improve the function of a joint born with a problem or developed over time. This may include joint deformities or contractures when the muscles and tendons around the joint become shortened.

Different Arthroplasty Techniques

There are different techniques that are contained within arthroplasty. Some of the most common ones include: 

  • Knee replacement - This procedure replaces the knee joint's weight-bearing surfaces to relieve pain and disability. It is generally performed when other treatments have failed to relieve symptoms or when arthritis has damaged the joint beyond repair. The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, and it can also treat other knee conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis.
  • Hip Replacement - This is a surgical procedure in which a prosthetic implant replaces the hip joint. It can be performed as a total hip replacement or a hemi (half) hip replacement. Total hip replacements are indicated when the articular cartilage and the underlying bone of the hip joint are destroyed. At the same time, hemi hip replacements are indicated when only the articular cartilage is damaged.
  • Shoulder Replacement - This procedure replaces the damaged or diseased surfaces of the shoulder joint with prostheses. The most common reason for shoulder replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. It can also be performed to treat other conditions affecting the shoulder, such as rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. During all procedures, the joint's deteriorated surfaces are removed and replaced with artificial parts, called prostheses, which are usually made of metal and plastic.

Recovery and Outlook

After the procedure, patients will be monitored in a recovery room until the numbing wears off. Recovery times vary depending on the type of arthroplasty performed and other factors.

For instance, hip replacement surgery generally has a longer recovery than knee replacement surgery as the hip is a weight-bearing joint. In general, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for several days after surgery and need to use a walker or crutches for several weeks.

Physical therapy will be started soon after surgery to help patients regain strength and range of motion in the joint. Most people who have joint replacement surgery experience significant pain relief and improved quality of life. Those who have had hip or knee replacement surgery can return to their previous activity level.

It is essential to remember that joint replacement surgery is an effective procedure, with potential risks and complications associated with any surgery. Before the procedure, these risks should be discussed with your doctor to ensure that you are making the best decision for your situation.