Joint replacement surgery is typically recommended for patients with advanced end stage joint disease (usually of the knee or the hip) who have tried non-surgical treatment, but still experience functional decline and disabling pain. Joint replacement is an extremely effective surgery when done at the right time and indication.
Modern joint replacement surgery involves removal of the worn cartilage from both sides of the joint, followed by resurfacing of the joint with a metal and plastic replacement implant that looks and functions much like your normal joint. Although nearly every joint in the body can be replaced, most replacement surgeries involve the hip or knee.
Over the last 30 years, improved surgical techniques and new implant materials have been developed, making total joint replacement one of the most reliable and durable procedures in any area of medicine.
- Total joint replacement is one of the safest and most reliable treatments in any area of medicine. A hip or knee replacement done today typically can be expected to last for 20 or more years. In fact, for most patients, total joint replacement surgery will be a lifelong solution for arthritis of the hip or knee.
- Total joint replacement should be considered as a possible treatment option only after a reasonable attempt at non-surgical management has been determined to be unsuccessful.
- Talk to your primary care doctor before surgery to insure your health is good enough to undergo the anesthesia and rehabilitation associated with the surgery.
- There are specific limitations and activity restrictions following total joint replacement that should be reviewed prior to treatment.