Why Joint Replacement May Be the Best Option for You
Joint replacement surgery comes in several forms and is aimed at replacing damaged joints with a prosthesis, which is a device made from metal or plastic, or ceramic. While people who suffer from joint problems have several options to consider, surgery is what often appears at the top of their list. It’s important to know that surgery for joint replacement can be a good option for you, there are other choices that may be the best option.
This, of course, depends on the conversation you have with your doctor, but in this article, we’ll discuss why joint replacement may be the best option for you. The primary way to assess whether joint replacement surgery is a good option is to outline what makes a patient a candidate for the procedure.
The Best Candidates for Joint Replacement
There are several conditions that can cause joint pain and disability to the extent that joint replacement surgery is the best option, such as:
- Osteoarthritis: Also known as wear-and-tear arthritis. This disease damages the slick cartilage at the ends of bones which helps the joints move smoothly.
- Osteonecrosis: Enough blood isn’t supplied to the ball portion of the hip joint and can occur from a dislocation or fracture, leading the hip bone to collapse or deform.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Caused by an overactive immune system that creates inflammation, erodes cartilage, and can also erode the underlying bone, resulting in damaged and deformed joints in the hip.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: resulting from the sudden impact or trauma to the knee and causing damage to the cartilage.
The best indicator for determining if joint replacement might be the best option is if the joint is repairable at all. If the damage to your joint is limited, then a replacement wouldn’t be the best option for you. Instead, your doctor may recommend nonsurgical treatments such as walking aids or treat you with joint preservation methods to restore the normal function and health of your joints. Joint preservation can include surgeries such as cartilage repair with patches or grafts, using other parts of the joint or from a donor. These treatments aim at correcting deformities and improving the mechanics of the natural joint.
Types of Joint Replacement Surgery
The orthopaedic surgeons at Puget Sound Orthopedics provide two types of joint replacement surgery: total replacement and partial replacement. Either procedure can be done in several areas of the body, wherever a joint is sufficiently damaged, but the most common types are knee replacement surgery and total hip replacement.
Joint Replacement for the Knee: Total Replacement and Partial Replacement
If your doctor recommends a total knee replacement, that means the entire joint needs to be removed and replaced with an artificial one as well as the kneecap, and cartilage to restore proper function and motion.
For a partial knee replacement, only the damaged portions and joints are removed before they are replaced with a prosthesis.
Joint Replacement for the Hip: Total Replacement and Partial Replacement
For a total hip replacement, both the femoral head and the acetabulum is removed. The femoral head is a single ball and the acetabulum is a joint socket. Removing both and replacing them with a prosthesis can ease the pain and restore motion in the hips.
The partial hip replacement only replaces the femoral head with a metal ball to rotate inside the natural socket.
Is Surgery a Good Option For Your Joints?
The only way to know if your joints need to be replaced is to be examined by your orthopaedic doctor. If it’s found that the joints are too damaged to be saved by non-surgical or joint preservation methods, then surgery will be scheduled to restore your health and motion. Total joint replacement is one of the most successful contemporary surgeries available and no longer requires extensive hospital stays, due to the dramatic increases in medical technology and techniques.
To read more about the joint surgery itself, we encourage you to read here:
At Proliance Puget Sound Orthopaedics, we provide best-in-class orthopedic care to our community with compassion, caring, and dedicated expertise for joint replacement surgery. If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms listed previously or need treatment for joint pain, we encourage you to call (253) 830 – 5200 or request an appointment online to see one of our physicians.