Joint Replacement Surgery: What you Need to Know

Joint replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a joint. It replaces them with new, human-made parts. Joints may need to be replaced when they are damaged from:

  • Arthritis (inflammation of joints that causes pain and stiffness)
  • Years of use
  • Disease

The goals of joint replacement surgery are to relieve pain, help the joint work better, and improve walking and other movements. Your provider will likely first suggest other treatments to reduce pain and help you move better, such as:

  • An exercise program
  • Walking aids like a cane or walker
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications

Complications after joint replacement surgery include infection, blood clots, and joint failure. Wearing away of the joint surface may become a problem after 15 to 20 years.

SOURCE: NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: Understanding Joint Replacement Surgery opens in new window

Winter 2018 Issue: Volume 12 Number 5 Page 22