The need for arthroplasty measures like total arthroplasty for hip replacement or knee replacement rise when patients are affected by certain specific medical conditions. Of course, like with any other surgery, there are arthroplasty complications to think of, but sometimes the risks outweigh the benefits.
The Need for Arthroplasty – Some Basics
Arthroplasty is a procedure whereby a new movable joint is constructed to replace old, damaged, stiffened or painful joints. It is a surgical procedure that can basically be done in two ways.
- In the first instance, the damaged portions of the bone are removed. This leaves a gap between the bone and the socket, which is filled up by scar tissue.
- The second way in which arthroplasty is performed is by using prosthesis made of various materials in order to cushion the damaged parts of the joint.
The Need for Arthroplasty #1 – Arthritis
If you suffer from painful arthritis – osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis – arthroplasty can be helpful. Of course, your doctor will first put you through other treatment forms before recommending surgery.
But, if your condition progressively deteriorates and if treatments like anti-inflammatory and anti-pain drugs as well as physical therapy do not work, then arthroscopy may bring you relief. For example, osteoarthritis of the hip may leave a person completely immobile.
Any movement during such an affliction may be followed by excruciating pain. These could very well be taken as hip replacement symptoms and your doctor may recommend either a total hip replacement or a partial one.
The Need for Arthroplasty #2 – Traumatized and Stiff Joints
Accidents can cause injury to joints. For example, a knee injury can leave the injured knee joint totally incapable of movement. Sometimes, with old age, stiffness creeps into the joint and the conditions worsens over the years. This is yet another instance when doctors may recommend arthroplasty. This could be in the form of total knee replacement surgery.
The Need for Arthroplasty #3 – Osteonecrosis
Osteonecrosis is very common in the shoulder and hip. It occurs when blood supply to these areas is affected. As a result, the bone slowly gets damaged. Over time, if left untreated, it could lead to bone death. Osteonecrosis in the shoulder could occur due to trauma caused by an accident.
The symptoms include pain and limited range of motions in the shoulder. Osteonecrosis in the hip can cause groin pain and limping. Arthroscopy can bring relief to shoulder pain causes and symptoms and is generally used for Osteonecrosis treatment.
The Need for Arthroplasty #4 – Congenital Joint Problems
If you suffer from congenital damage to the joints, then arthroplasty can be performed to correct the condition. Arthroscopy is often recommended in cases of hip dysplasia and acetabular dysplasia. In both these cases, there may be abnormalities in the hip joint which can be corrected either by removing or replacing the head of the femur and the socket.
Arthroplasty cannot be used to repair damage to all joints in the body during congenital joint disorders. It is mainly restricted to repairing or limiting the damage that has occurred in shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, certain knee joints as well as the metatarso-phalangeal foot joints.
Doctors will recommend the procedure when the need for arthroplasty surgery rises, and only after other conventional forms of treatment have failed to bring about a significant reduction in pain levels or any improvement in mobility. Successful arthroplasty can bring about a dramatic improvement in the quality of your life, as long as you take proper care post arthroplasty.