Arthritic or damaged bones surfaces are removed and resurfaced with an artificial joint known as prosthesis. Knee and hip replacements are most common, but joint replacement can be performed on other joint such as the shoulder, elbow, etc.
Why Joint Replacement is necessary?
When complete joint is damaged with degenerated cartilage all over then it becomes difficult for the patient to continue day to day activities of life. So total joint replacement to be considered if other options like medication, physiotherapy etc will not relieve pain and disability in such condition. The goal is to relieve the pain in the joint caused by the damage done to the cartilage. Total joint replacement which is also called as Arthroplasty is one of the most successful and innovative surgery of 19th Century.
Total Hip Replacement Surgery
This surgery is the most successful innovation of 19th Century. This remains gold standard procedure. In this operation socket and ball (head) of the femur bone is removed. Depending up on the bone quality new socket and stem-head made of different materials is used in. This articular surface material could be combination of plastic (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) on Metal (cobalt chrome Molybdenum), plastic on ceramic ball and ceramic on ceramic ball. Again depending up on the age and quality of bone these joints have been put in with bone cement or without bone cement. Results of this conventional hip replacement surgery are excellent only difference from hip resurfacing is that original ball is not conserved and patients are not allowed to squat.
How is Total Joint Replacement performed?
Under the effect of spinal or epidural or general anesthesia the damaged ends of the bones and cartilage are replaced with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic surfaces. They are shaped to restore joint movements and function. The materials used in a total joint replacement are designed to enable the joint to move just like your normal joint and hence resemble the normal joint closely. The prosthesis is generally composed of two parts: a metal piece that fits closely into a matching sturdy plastic piece. Alloys of cobalt, chrome and titanium are mainly used. The plastic used is ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene. Using these advanced bio-materials and well executed surgical technique one can expect excellent results of long term durability.