Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure where damaged joints are
removed and replaced with metal, plastic or ceramic devises. Patients
may undergo joint replacement procedures for dysfunctional hips, knees,
and shoulders. Joint replacement is considered as a treatment option when
severe joint pain or dysfunction is not alleviated by less invasive therapies.
Joints are formed by 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 pain.
When only some of the joint are damaged, a surgeon may be able to repair
or replace just the damaged parts. When the entire joint is damaged, a
total joint replacement is done. To replace a total hip or knee joint,
a surgeon removes the diseased or damaged parts and inserts artificial
parts, called prostheses or implants.
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