For patients with joints that have considerable damage, symptoms can be severe and debilitating. Oftentimes, the existing damage can prevent pain-relieving methods from working. As a result, patients with joint damage experience limitations that can affect their quality of life.
If you are like many others who are suffering from advanced-stage arthritis, you may be a good candidate for total joint replacement surgery, in which a surgeon replaces the damaged parts with highly durable artificial parts or prostheses. Pain reduction and restoration of function are just two of the benefits that people who undergo total joint replacements enjoy.
An orthopedic surgeon will recommend the type of total joint replacement surgery according to the location of the damage. The most common types of total joint replacements involve the hip, knee, and shoulder.
Total Hip Replacement
A total hip replacement involves replacing the damaged femoral head of the hip and the placement of a metal stem into the center of the femur. A metal ball is placed on the top of the metal stem to replace the damaged femoral head. The damaged cartilage on the socket is also replaced with an artificial metal part. To create a smooth gliding effect of the artificial replacements, the surgeon will add an artificial spacer.
Total Knee Replacement
Patients with deformity of the knee as a result of wear and tear or rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from total knee replacement, which is, in fact, a knee resurfacing surgery. This procedure is also common among younger individuals who suffered serious knee injuries. The surgeon replaces the damaged parts with metal ones to recreate the surface of the joint.
Total Shoulder Replacement
Total shoulder joint replacement surgery involves replacing damaged shoulder joint components with artificial ones. If the glenoid cartilage is in good condition, the surgeon may replace only the head of the humerus with a metal ball. To attach the metal ball, the surgeon may either cement it in place or surgically implant it in the humerus. If the glenoid cartilage is not in good condition, the surgeon will replace it with a plastic socket.
The decision to have total joint replacement surgery is major and life-changing. There should be a discussion with your doctor about what transpires during the surgery and what to expect during recovery as well as years after the surgery (i.e., how long will the artificial implant last and will there be activity restrictions?).
Joint Replacement Surgeon in Watertown, New York
Our board-certified joint replacement surgeons at North Country Orthopaedic Group are experts in hip, knee, and shoulder replacement surgeries. We operate on young and old patients alike with the goal of relieving severe symptoms and restoring normal joint function. We perform all surgeries in our state-of-the-art ambulatory surgical center.
But first, we have to evaluate your condition to determine if joint replacement surgery is right for you. To schedule an appointment, call our office at (315) 782-1650 or use our online request form.