Joints can be damaged by arthritis, injuries, diseases, and other causes. Years of use may cause the joint to wear away which can generate pain, stiffness, and swelling. Bones are alive, and they need blood to be healthy, grow, and repair themselves. Diseases and damage inside a joint can limit blood flow, causing problems.
Replacement arthroplasty or joint replacement surgery, is a procedure of orthopedic surgery in which an arthritic or dysfunctional joint surface is replaced with an orthopedic prosthesis. Joint replacement is considered as a treatment when severe joint pain or dysfunction is not alleviated by less-invasive therapies.
More than 1 million Americans have a joint replaced each year. Hip and knee replacements are the most common, but replacement surgery can be performed on other joints as well, including the ankle, wrist, shoulder, and elbow. Most people can expect their joint replacement to last for many years, providing them with an improved quality of life that includes less pain, along with improved motion and strength that would not have been possible otherwise.