Joint Replacement Surgery

Mobility is something many of us take for granted. Occasionally some of us develop joint pain that can deeply effect our enjoyment of a full and active lifestyle. There are many therapies for joint pain. Joint replacement is a highly effective way of relieving joint pain and correcting a deformity.

Joint replacement surgery can also relieve advanced arthritis.

You may suffering from joint pain, stiffness, limping, muscle weakness, limited mobility, or swelling. These symptoms can mean you have trouble with ordinary activities such as walking, dressing, using your car, or climbing stairs.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common causes of joints not working properly. There is still uncertainty about what causes arthritis but several things may contribute and lead to arthritis, including:

  • Family history
  • Developmental problems with the joint
  • Repetitive injuries
  • Severe trauma to the joint cartilage

Being overweight can exacerbate and cause an early onset to joint problems, often speeding up the process.

Joint replacement surgery replaces damaged cartilage and any bone loss. The damaged joint is resurfaced during the procedure, using the patient’s muscles and ligaments for support and function.

A prosthesis (replacement joint) can be made of a choice of titanium, cobalt chrome, stainless steel, ceramic material, or polyethylene (plastic). Once the procedure has been performed, a program of physical therapy is undertaken to bring the patient’s joint back to a useable state.

Hips and knees are the most common joints that require joint replacement surgery.

HIP REPLACEMENT

Total hip replacement is where the hip socket and the “ball” or head of the thigh bone (femur) are substituted. During the process, your surgeon will resurface the socket and ball where cartilage and bone have been lost, and then uses an artificial ball and socket, using existing healthy bone to support the new joint.

Total hip replacements are generally used by patients that have serious distortion in the hip joint caused by arthritis. If the patient is experiencing unbearable joint pain, or where they can’t perform daily living activities because of a damaged hip, replacement is recommended.

Advances in medical imaging and 3D printing technology can allow your replacement joint to be completely customised to your existing bone structure.

KNEE REPLACEMENT

For patients with advanced or end-stage arthritis, knee replacement surgery is commonly performed.

When the knee joint coating or gliding surface (articular cartilage) is damaged, and is unable to be treated by medicine alone, a knee replacement will be discussed with you. Ordinary daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs may become difficult, depending on the amount of damage. Deformity may also be caused by trauma to the knee joint cartilage and bone.

As knee joint deterioration becomes worse, “knock-knee” or bow-legged deformities and unusual knee sounds (crepitus) may become more noticeable.

Damaged cartilage or gliding surface, as well as any loss of bone structure is replaced during knee replacement surgery. Materials used for knee replacement are similar to that used for hip replacements.

Advances in 3D scanning and printing allow us to create a bespoke (customised) joint for your replacement surgery.