If joint pain interferes with work or routine activities, continues when you are at rest, or is not relieved through medication, joint replacement surgery may be an option. Joint replacement surgery, also referred to as arthroplasty, involves removal of the damaged joint and replacement in the form of a ceramic, plastic, or metal prosthesis.
A joint is a part of the body where two bones are joined together, like the knee or the elbow. There are many reasons joints wear away over time like arthritis or injuries. When cartilage that is between the bones wears away due to injury or disease, bones begin to rub together, and this causes pain. Generally, total joint replacement is performed for people with severe arthritic pain.
Total joint replacement generally takes a few hours and can be done in an outpatient setting or a hospital. The surgeon removes the cartilage and bone that is damaged and replaces it with a prosthetic component. The prosthesis is often kept in place with bone cement and has material covering it that enables natural bone tissue to grow into it.
Post surgery, patients will enjoy better functionality and less pain, along with increased range of motion. Patients can begin normal daily activities around six weeks after surgery and full recovery may take anywhere from three months to a year. Physical therapy will help ensure a smooth transition back to everyday activities.