What is Arthroplasty?
Arthroplasty, also known as surgical joint replacement, involves the removal of a damaged joint and placing an artificial joint during the procedure. The artificial joint, a prosthesis, can be made of metal, ceramic, or heavy-duty plastic. The new joint resembles a natural joint and allows for similar movement.
While joint replacement surgery can be performed on various body parts, the most common types are hip replacement and knee replacement.
In most cases, individuals undergoing this procedure require a total joint replacement, where the entire joint is replaced. However, a partial joint replacement may be suitable for a few people, where only the damaged portion of the joint is replaced. The recovery time for arthroplasty can vary depending on age, lifestyle, the specific procedure performed, and the joint being replaced.
Who needs an Arthroplasty?
Arthroplasty is considered when other medical treatments no longer effectively alleviate joint pain and disability. Before undergoing arthroplasty, various medical treatments may be utilized for osteoarthritis, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Pain relievers
- Activity modification to avoid painful movements
- Use of walking aids like canes
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections in the affected knee joint
- Viscosupplementation injections to enhance joint lubrication and reduce pain during movement
- Weight loss in cases of obesity
- Exercise and conditioning
Individuals who undergo arthroplasty typically experience significant improvement in joint pain, functional abilities, and overall quality of life. Other factors may be specific to your condition that prompt your healthcare provider to recommend arthroplasty. For more detailed information, referring to the specific surgical procedures for hip replacement and knee replacement is advisable.
Like any surgical procedure, arthroplasty carries the risk of complications. Some potential complications may include:
- Blood Clots
- Prosthetic Loosening
- Nerve or Vessel Injury
- Suboptimal Pain Relief or Function
Notably, these complications are relatively uncommon, and many people experience successful outcomes from arthroplasty. However, discussing any concerns or specific risks related to your medical condition with your healthcare provider before undergoing the procedure is crucial. They will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the potential risks and benefits based on your circumstances.
What happens during the procedure?
Arthroplasty can be performed in the Apex Hospitals’ outpatient clinic or IPD, depending on the specific circumstances. The surgical technique employed by the surgeon at Apex Hospitals will vary based on the type of surgery and the joint being replaced. Before the procedure, you will be administered anaesthesia to ensure pain-free during the arthroplasty.
During the surgery, your surgeon will make incisions and remove the damaged joint. They will then replace it with an artificial joint, securing the incisions using stitches, staples, or surgical glue. The joint may be wrapped in a bandage, and you may receive a brace or sling for support.
In some instances, surgeons at Apex Hospitals may opt for minimally invasive techniques for joint replacement. These methods involve smaller incisions and specialized tools, potentially resulting in a shorter recovery than traditional procedures. Your surgeon will recommend the most suitable approach based on your needs and condition.
How long does joint replacement last?
On average, the lifespan of a new joint following arthroplasty is typically around 10 to 15 years. However, it's important to note that individual outcomes can vary. After undergoing arthroplasty, it is advisable to discuss with your healthcare provider regarding measures you can take to maintain the health and longevity of your new joint.
If your joint replacement begins to wear out after the 15-year mark, it is possible to revise it with a new joint. Revisions involve replacing the worn-out joint with a new prosthesis, which can help restore function and alleviate any associated discomfort. It is essential to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate course of action should the need for joint revision arise.
Don't let joint pain hold you back. At Apex Hospitals, Rajasthan, our expert healthcare providers can replace your damaged joint with an artificial joint, restoring your mobility and allowing you to live a pain-free life. Say goodbye to limitations and hello to a more active lifestyle.