Arthroplasty: Uses, Side Effects, Procedure, Results


Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure that can help restore joint function. More than 7 million Americans have undergone some type of joint replacement, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). Hip and knee replacement are the two most commonly performed surgeries in the United States, with an estimated up to one million procedures performed annually.

Preparing for surgery, surgery, and recovery will be hard work, but joint replacement will mean less pain, more mobility, and the freedom to participate in your life.

Get Medication Information / Brianna Gilmartin


The hips and knees are not the only joints that healthcare professionals perform using arthroplasty. Arthroplasty can repair or replace any joint in the body, including the shoulders, elbows, and ankles .

Total joint replacement is the surgical replacement of a problem joint with a prosthesis. For example, a hip joint that is affected by rheumatoid arthritis can be completely replaced; This is called a total hip replacement .

This will require replacement of the hip joint as well as the head and neck of the hip joint. In doing so, the goal is to relieve the person's pain, restore range of motion, help them walk better, and increase the strength of the affected area.

Your healthcare provider may recommend arthroplasty when medical procedures no longer relieve joint pain and disability is imminent.


Joint replacement carries the same risks as other major surgeries, including the risk of infections and blood clots. People with heart problems, poorly controlled diabetes , and a weak immune system are at risk for complications. The surgeon may prescribe antibiotics and blood thinners in hopes of preventing complications.

Nerve damage, while rare, can occur if the nerves surrounding the replaced joint are damaged during surgery. Another common risk associated with arthroplasty is that the new joint does not work properly and feels weak and stiff. This usually occurs when the person is not involved in active rehabilitation or does not follow other aspects of their treatment plan.

Implants can also loosen or dislocate. Replaceable hinges may need to be replaced in the future due to wear.

Other risks of the procedure are also possible, depending on the general state of human health and any disease. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your surgeon prior to surgery.


Arthroplasty is a major surgery that will take a month or more to recover. You will also experience pain during your recovery, so prepare well for what is about to happen.

Commit on time

You will usually be awake the first day after your procedure, but recovery will still take time. Plan to take time off from work and make sure you have help with responsibilities, including taking care of children or pets.

Physiotherapy schedule

Physical therapy is often part of your rehabilitation. In this case, plan where you will receive therapy and how you will get there; You will not be able to drive while you are recovering from your arthroplasty.

Request assistive devices

Work with your health care team to determine what medical equipment you will need when you return home from surgery. This can include devices such as a cane or walker, a chair to hold the tub, or toilet rails.

Rearrange your house

If you still don't have access to everything in your home with limited traffic, you'll need to rearrange it so that everything is on the same floor and within easy reach. This is especially important in the first weeks after surgery. You want to be sure that you can easily access everything you need at home without putting undue stress on the surgery site.

Solve all medical problems

If you have other medical problems, such as toothaches, be sure to fix them before surgery. Recovery after surgery will take a long time. If you have any prior medical problems or concerns, it is imperative that you treat them prior to your arthroplasty so that recovering from this procedure is your top priority when the time comes.

During the operation

Arthroplasty requires hospitalization. The procedure can be done while the person is sleeping under general anesthesia . Sometimes a person is awake under local anesthesia . This is what will need to be determined based on the scope of the operation, as well as the specific practice and recommendations of your treating physician.

While you're still awake, you'll take off your clothes and put on a dress. An intravenous (IV) line is inserted into the arm or hand. You will then be placed on the operating table so that you can access the joint for surgery. Anesthesia is started intravenously and the anesthesiologist will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, and breathing throughout the operation.

Excess hair is shaved off at the surgery site. Then the skin over the operation site is cleaned. The operation can take up to two hours. The doctor will make an 8 to 12 inch incision in the surgical area. The surgeon will then repair and / or replace the damaged part of the joint. For example, knee surgery involves the removal of the injured part of the knee and the surfaces of the femur and lower leg near the affected joint. Next, the surgeon implants an artificial knee replacement.

In knee arthroscopy, the prosthesis consists of three parts: the tibial component (lower part), which replaces the upper part of the lower bone (tibia), and the femur component (upper part), which replaces the femur (upper bone). . containing the kneecap). fit) and a patella part (kneecap) to replace the patella surface. The thigh is made of metal and the tibia includes a metal tray and a plastic pad. The knee part is made of plastic, but it can be plastic or metal.

If your surgeon is performing a minimally invasive procedure, a smaller incision means less damage to the muscles and tendons. After repair, removal, and / or replacement of the damaged joint, the incision is closed with surgical staples or sutures. Finally, a bandage and bandage are applied.


After the operation, you will be monitored for several hours in the postoperative room. When your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing have stabilized and you wake up, you will be transferred to a hospital room where you will stay for several days.

A physical therapist will meet with you shortly after surgery to discuss an exercise rehabilitation plan. Since your pain can be controlled with a variety of pain relievers, including prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers, you will immediately get up and start moving. You will follow the rehabilitation plan in the hospital and after you are discharged. You will be discharged home or for rehabilitation and will continue with physical therapy to restore strength and range of motion.

When you return home, the surgical area should be dry and clean. You will be given instructions for bathing. The points will be removed when you arrive for your next visit.

Take only pain relievers recommended by your doctor. Aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers can cause bleeding or other adverse reactions.

Watch for signs of infection , including:

  • Fever / chills
  • Redness or swelling
  • Bleeding or suppuration at the surgical site.
  • Increased pain at the surgery site.
  • Numbness or tingling in the affected joint.

You do not need to change your diet unless your doctor tells you to. You will be informed of any restrictions on activities, including driving. Your healthcare professional can provide additional advice and guidance based on your specific situation.

Full recovery can take up to four months, depending on the type of arthroplasty. For the first few days after surgery, you will walk with a walker , crutches, or a cane. Your healthcare provider will examine you one week after your surgery and determine the details of your physical therapy program.

For the next two to six weeks after surgery, you will participate in physical therapy and work to return to your normal activities. You should not resume sports until you have received permission from your doctor to avoid injury. Over the next three to four months, you will notice an improvement in strength and range of motion in the repaired / replaced joint.

By then, the pain and swelling should be completely gone and your doctor will approve your return to your favorite sports and high-performance activities.

Get the word of drug information

Arthroplasty can dramatically improve your quality of life and help you enjoy activities that you previously enjoyed, such as walking, biking, running, swimming, and more. The operation is generally safe – millions of procedures are performed each year, and very few people experience complications.

However, it is recommended that you discuss all the risks and benefits associated with arthroplasty with your doctor and how they apply to your particular situation. You also need to think about how much time you will spend recovering and rehabbing.

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