Joint replacement surgery is removing a damaged joint and putting in a new one. A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, and shoulder. Sometimes, the surgeon will not remove the whole joint, but will only replace or fix the damaged parts.
Joint replacement is suggested to improve your quality of life. Replacing a joint can relieve pain and help you move and feel better. Hips and knees are replaced most often. Other joints that can be replaced include the shoulders, fingers, ankles, and elbows.
Joints can be damaged by arthritis and other diseases, injuries, or other causes. This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. Diseases and damage inside a joint can limit blood flow, causing problems.
A new joint, called a prosthesis can be made of plastic, metal, or both. It may be cemented into place or uncemented, so that your bone will grow into it. Both methods may be combined to keep the new joint in place.
A cemented joint is used more often in older people who do not move around as much and in people with “weak” bones. The cement holds the new joint to the bone. An uncemented joint is often recommended for younger, more active people and those with good bone quality. It may take longer to heal because it takes longer for the bone to grow and attach to it.
New joints generally last at least 10 to 15 years. Therefore, younger patients may need to have the same damaged joint replaced more than once. Joint replacement is becoming more common. Research has shown that even if you are older, joint replacement can help you move around and feel better.
Custom-made joint replacements are done for tumor surgeries and in major revision joint replacement surgeries.
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