Our joints are meant to protect our bones from rubbing together when they move. Sometimes joint cartilage becomes worn down or damaged due to injury or disease. When this happens, the bones can’t move smoothly, which often results in pain, swelling, and immobility.
If joint problems like this are left untreated, they can become debilitating. Often, they only get worse over time. One treatment option is joint replacement surgery. In this kind of operation, damaged bones in the joint are removed and replaced with other material such as metal or plastic.
Once a joint has been replaced, pain decreases, mobility returns, and the appearance of the joints may improve. Some of the most common joints replaced in surgery are
After a joint replacement surgery, you may need to work with a physical therapist as you learn how to regain mobility in your joint without disrupting the recovery process. Recovery time depends on which joint is replaced and how invasive a surgeon must be in order to replace the joint. Larger joint replacement surgery will require that you take more time off work and that you slowly enter back into normal life.
As with any operation, there are some risks associated with joint replacement surgery. These include
- Negative reaction to joint replacement implant
- Implant failure
- Damage to surrounding tissue or blood vessels
If you experience joint pain or problems, be sure to talk to your doctor thoroughly about if joint replacement surgery is a good option for you. Many people experience pain relief and improvement of mobility through joint replacement surgery, but everyone’s bodies and needs are different, so it is important to know what will work best for you.