Bones and joints give shape to the human body. Two bones meet at a joint. Joints consist of cartilage, tendons, ligaments, synovial membranes, fluid-filled sacs, synovial fluids, and meniscus. The four types of joints found in the human body are:
- Ball and socket
- Pivot joints
When joints become aged or diseased, they cause excruciating pain in the subjects. When the pain cannot be controlled by medicines and physiotherapy, orthopedic doctors suggest joint replacement surgery as the final option.
What Causes Joint Damage?
Joints can be damaged due to several reasons namely
- Disease conditions
The joints or other parts of joints namely tendon, ligament, fluid sacs, etc. can be infected, bruised or even scarred. Generally, when the damage is minimal, doctors suggest options like walking aids, cast, exercise routine, physiotherapy, medicines, etc. If the patient can get relief out of these and then the joints are considered still healthy. However, if none of these options help patients, depending on the joint’s anatomical and functional condition, orthopedic doctors prefer to go for joint replacement surgery.
What is a Joint Replacement Surgery?
Joint replacement surgery is a process of replacing the diseased portion of the joint with tailor-made artificial joints. Statistically, hip and knee joints have been damaged at a higher rate than other joints. Joint replacement surgeries are performed in full anesthesia and rehabilitation takes a few weeks. Along with painkillers, physical therapy is started for patients to strengthen the muscles around the replaced joint. There is no risk involved with joint replacement surgery. However, there can be mild side effects like infection, blood clots, loosening of the joint, nerve injury, etc. that can be corrected.
Types of Joint Replacement Surgeries
There are two types of joint replacement surgeries namely
- Total joint replacement surgery where the entire joint is replaced with artificial parts. For example, in total hip replacement, total knee replacement, etc. the prosthetic is designed to fully replicate the movement of the original joint. A spacer is also inserted to give enough comfort for the patient.
- Partial joint replacement surgery where the part of the joint is damaged and can be replaced using a prosthetic. For example, in the shoulder joint, if the ball and socket joint is not functioning properly, only the ball and socket can be replaced.
Based on the severity of pain and diagnosis from scans and x-rays, the orthopedic doctors decide whether total or partial joint surgery will prove to be helpful for patients.
Joint replacement surgeries improve the quality of life in patients. Along with physiological health, one’s functional and mental health also improves. Pain reduces considerably and patients recover from anxiety and depression issues as well. The joint becomes flexible like before and increases the mobility. In totality, patients who have restricted themselves from social life due to joint pain can become active once again.
Joint replacement surgery is the best way to rebuild confidence in people who are bearing the pain for a long time.