Information on Arthroplasty Surgery – Knee and Hip Arthroplasty

The different types of arthroplasty surgery, like hip arthroplasty surgery and knee arthroplasty surgery, can provide a new lease of life to people that suffer from chronic pain or stiffness in their joints.

At times, medical treatments like anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers and physical therapy may not bring about improvements in their pain level, and the dysfunctional joint may also curtail the patient’s ability to perform normal day-to-day activities. Such cases may indicate a need for arthroplasty surgery.

The Types of Arthroplasty Surgery

knee arthroplasty surgery

During knee arthroplasty surgery, the femur bone is reshaped

Depending on the joint that’s affected, different types of arthroplasty surgery can be performed. The oft performed types are:

  • Knee arthroplasty surgery
  • Hip arthroplasty surgery
  • Shoulder arthroplasty surgery

Arthroplasty Surgery #1 – The Knee Arthroplasty Surgery

Knee Arthroplasty

A plastic plate is often inserted during knee arthroplasty surgery

  • Such arthroplasty surgery will be initiated through a complete clinical and medical examination. Speak candidly to the doctor about any fears that you may have and about any present ailments and medication that you are taking.
  • A series of blood tests and diagnostic tests will then be conducted.
  • As preparation for the arthroplasty surgery, you will be asked to fast six to eight hours prior to the procedure. The pre-operation procedures will be completed and the anesthesiologist will speak to you about your options. You can opt for epidural or spinal anesthesia or even a combination of the two.
  • Once you are on the operating table, an intravenous line and a urinary catheter will be inserted.
  • The skin in the surgical area will be thoroughly cleansed before the surgeon makes the first incision.
  • When the arthroplasty surgery starts, the damaged portions of the femur and its cartilage will then be removed. The femur here refers to the thigh bone.
  • The surgeon will reshape the end of the femur bone so that the metal or plastic prosthesis can be fitted onto the same.
  • Bone cement can be used to attach the prosthesis to the femur. Uncemented prosthesis, which is porous, can also be used. The bone will grow to attach onto the prosthesis.
  • The damaged portions of the tibia bone and its cartilage will be removed later and the end will be reshaped before the prosthesis is attached.A plastic plate is normally attached to the tibia and its purpose is to support the body’s weight. The plate also allows the femur to move smoothly over the tibia.
  • The patella or the knee cap should also be able to glide smoothly over the artificial joints which have been implanted. The surgeon will prepare the rear of the patella and will attach a plastic component with the help of bone cement.
  • The incision is stitched or stapled and a drain may be placed to remove the fluid.A sterile bandage will be applied, and the entire knee arthroplasty surgery can take between one to three hours.

Arthroplasty Surgery #2 – The Hip Arthroplasty Surgery

Arthroplasty Surgery

Patients are administered spinal or epidural anesthesia before arthroplasty surgery

  • During the total hip replacement procedure, an artificial hip joint is used. This artificial joint has four distinct parts – a socket made of metal, a plastic liner to fit into the socket, a metal or ceramic ball and a metal stem.
  • The metal socket will replace your old hip socket, while the ball replaces the head of your thigh bone. The liner is fitted into the metal socket to enable the hip to move smoothly. The metal stem is attached to the bone shaft. This will give stability to your new artificial joint post arthroplasty surgery.
  • The arthroplasty surgery is conducted with either epidural or spinal anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision over the buttocks and will remove the head of the thigh bone.
  • The damaged portions of the bone and cartilage will then be removed and the hip socket will be cleaned.
  • The new artificial joints are normally put in place and fixed with bone cement. Any damage to the surrounding muscle and tendons around the newly fixed joint can then be repaired.
  • The incision will finally be closed and the area will then be bandaged.

Shoulder arthroplasty surgery is also being increasingly used to correct dysfunctional shoulder joints and the procedure for this is quite similar to knee and hip replacements. The result of the surgery should be better mobility and relief from pain. Once the doctor clears the patient as medically fit to undergo the procedure, the same can be carried out in order to treat the condition. Also, it is important to seek proper care post arthroplasty to ensure a succesful arthoplasty recovery.


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