Joints that are diseased from arthritis can undergo replacement. Hip and Knees are the most common joints undergoing replacement. Joint Replacement is a last resort. Joint replacement surgery is recommended when pain is no longer well-controlled and joint damage significantly affects quality of life.
New implant materials and improved surgical techniques for joint replacement have been developed over the past three decades. While a prosthesis can be made of metal, or metal and plastic, it also can be cemented with a grout-like substance, non-cemented, or a combination of both to achieve fixation. Typically, a cemented prosthesis is used in older people. The non-cemented version is more appropriate for younger, active people. This is because good bone quality is needed so that bone can grow into the prosthesis to secure it.
Joint prostheses typically are composed of metal alloys of titanium and cobalt chrome. A newer material being used is called tantalum — a soft, highly porous metal with a stiffness similar to bone. New joints are lasting about 10 to 15 years so, depending on the age of the patient, revisions and possibly multiple revisions are likely for younger patients.
How do you know if you need a joint replacement?
- Have I tried medication and other conservative pain-relieving treatment options?
- Do I have unrelenting pain in the affected joint?
- Do I have significant difficulty with usual daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, cooking, cleaning, and more?
- Has my quality of life suffered due to arthritis pain and joint damage?
When Is a Hip Replacement Recommended?
Osteoarthritis: This is a type of ‘wear and tear’ of arthritis. This arthritis may occur in the 50 aged group people and who has the family history background of arthritis.
Because of this, the hip bones move away and they rub against each other which cause hip pain and stiffness.
Rheumatoid arthritis: arthritis may cause the pain and stiffness in the hip and it is an autoimmune disease where the synovial membrane turns to swollen and thickened. Rheumatoid arthritis includes the different types of disorders which is called as ‘inflammatory arthritis’.
Post-traumatic arthritis: This may occur due to severe hip injury or a fracture. The cartilage leads to damaged and can cause hip pain and stiffness for a long period.
The hip bones are moved aside and it may lead to heavy pain in the hip and may lead to stopping of the regular activities.
Avascular necrosis: If you met with an accident, it may cause hip injury like dislocation and fracture to the joint which may lead to the stopping of the blood supply to the femoral head. This decrease in blood supply may cause an external part of the bone to be collapsed which may result in arthritis. When there is a lack of blood supply to the joints called avascular necrosis.
Childhood hip disease: Some people may have hip disease from childhood and if it needs to be treated in childhood, it has an effect in the future. The result may be that the hip won’t develop properly and needs to be replaced.
Total knee replacement surgery involves replacing one or more of the knee’s three compartments (inside, outside and underneath the kneecap). With partial knee replacement, your surgeon replaces only one part of your knee joint, most commonly the inside or medial compartment.
Options before total knee replacement surgery are:
- Tibial osteotomy: some patients may be candidates for this non-replacement procedure that realigns the limb and preserves knee function
- Knee arthroplasty: surgical replacement of the surface of the knee joint to decrease pain and increase mobility
- MAKOplasty: an innovative robotic partial and total knee replacement surgery that targets the specific disease area and preserves bone, soft tissue and ligaments for more natural knee function post-surgery
Other joints that can be replaced are shoulder, elbow, and wrist.