Joints are formed at the ends of two or more bones connected by tissue called cartilage. Healthy cartilage serves as a protective cushion, allowing smooth, low-friction movement of the joint. If the cartilage becomes damaged by disease or injury, the tissues around the joint become inflamed, causing pain. With time, the cartilage wears away, allowing the rough edges of bone to rub against each other, causing more irritation.
When only some of the joint is damaged, a surgeon may be able to repair or replace just the damaged parts. When the entire joint is damaged, a total joint replacement may be needed. To replace a total hip or knee joint, the two most common replacements, a surgeon removes the diseased or damaged parts and inserts artificial parts, called prostheses or implants. These prostheses are considered medical devices, which are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
When preparing for joint replacement surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will make some recommendations such as:
Like any surgery, hip and knee joint replacement carries potentially life-threatening risks, such as infection, blood clots and complications from anesthesia. Other complications could include nerve damage, dislocation or breakage after surgery, and the wearing out or loosening of the joint over time.
How does one know whether joint replacement is right for them? The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases suggests that if the following symptoms occur, one should consult a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon.
Typically, after the joint replacement surgery, the orthopedic surgeon encourages people to use the “new” joint soon after the operation. After a hip or knee replacement one will often begin walking the day after surgery. Exercise is an important part of the recovery process. The orthopedic surgeon will discuss the types and amount of exercises you will need on an individual basis, since each surgery recovery time is different.
To find an orthopedic specialist, call 570-286-3560 or visit SunburyHospital.com and click on, “Find a Doctor.”
350 N 11th St
Sunbury, PA 17801