When Is Total Joint Replacement Necessary?

Total joint replacement is exactly what it sounds like: a surgical procedure that completely replaces a joint in the body. While it may sound intense, such a surgery can go a long way in enhancing your health and well-being. For ideal candidates, total joint replacement can help minimize pain and restore and preserve normal function, allowing you to lead a fuller, more enjoyable life.

Our expert team at Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri, has vast expertise in carrying out joint replacement surgeries using minimally-invasive techniques whenever possible. Keep reading to learn more about these procedures, including when one may be necessary.

Goals of a total joint replacement

From a big picture standpoint, total joint replacement does more than replace a joint. During the procedure, your provider replaces a damaged joint with a ceramic, metal, or plastic device known as a prostheses. This device is specially designed to replicate the movements of a healthy, normal joint. 

While numerous joints can be replaced through this process, hip and knee replacement surgeries are the most common, followed by ankles, elbows, wrists, and shoulders. The ultimate goal of total joint replacement is to improve your body’s function to bring you greater ease, safety, and well-being.

When to consider total joint replacement

Your doctor may recommend total joint replacement if you have a disabling, painful condition, such as osteoarthritis. The most common form of arthritis, this “wear and tear” condition sometimes progresses to a point at which surgery is necessary. You may also benefit from total joint replacement if you have severe rheumatoid arthritis, a hip or knee fracture, or a bone tumor.

At Northland Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, we start patients out with conservative treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and hyaluronic acid or steroid injections. If these methods fail to bring sufficient or lasting relief, we may recommend total joint replacement.

Effectiveness of total joint replacement

Individual results from joint replacement surgery vary, but a study from 2019 showed that 82% of people who had total knee replacements were still benefiting from good function 25 years later. One year after total joint replacement, many people report experiencing a range of benefits, such as:

Working closely with your treatment team and following your post-surgery recommendations can help you get the most out of your procedure.

To learn more about total joint replacement or get support for related joint issues, call Northland Orthopedic & Sports Medicine or request a virtual appointment on our website.

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