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Joint Replacement

Joint Replacement

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.

How is the need for joint surgery diagnosed?

For nearly all patients, arthritis or other joint problems that are typically treated with joint replacement surgery can be diagnosed with simple x-rays. Other causes for hip or knee pain should be considered since referred back pain can be easily confused for pain associated with arthritis of the hip or knee, and pain from an arthritic hip can occasionally be referred to the knee. Inflammation of the soft tissue structures around the joint also can cause tendonitis or bursitis which can be confused with the pain associated with arthritis. A careful examination by your doctor and routine x-rays usually can determine the actual cause of your pain.

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