What is total joint replacement?
Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure where part or all of an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic prosthesis. The prosthesis is engineered to replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.
More than 1 million total joint replacements are performed each year. Hip replacements and knee replacements are the most commonly performed joint replacements. Replacement surgery can also be performed on other joints, including the ankle, elbow, shoulder, and wrist.
What is a joint?
A joint is the point at which two or more bones meet. The knee is considered a “hinge” joint, because of its ability to bend and straighten like a hinge found on a door. The shoulder and hip are “ball and socket” joints, where the rounded end of a bone fits into the cup-shaped area of another bone.
When is replacement recommended?
Many conditions contribute to joint pain and disability, inducing patients to consider joint replacement. In most cases, joint pain is caused by damaged cartilage lining the ends of the bones (articular cartilage) from arthritis, a fracture or another condition.
When nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy, medications or adjustments to your everyday activities do not provide relief of pain and disability, your doctor may recommend joint replacement.
Where does the surgery take place?
Total joint replacement surgery may take several hours. The procedure is performed in a hospital or TCO’s ambulatory surgery center.