Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that affects the hips, knees, hands, neck and lower back. This is a progressive disease that most often worsens with time. The easiest way to describe osteoarthritis is “wear and tear” of cartilage of your joint. Symptoms of osteoarthritis include activity related pain, stiffness, muscle weakness, swelling and joint deformity.
Total Joint Replacement – What to Expect
Total Joint Arthroplasty is a very predictable and satisfying operation in treating degenerative joint disease of the hip and knee. However, the successful outcome after a THA or TKA is also dependent on the postoperative rehabilitation. Most patients will require home therapy, outpatient therapy or both. The first phase in rehabilitation is working on obtaining full range of motion. The last phase is strengthening and endurance. On average, it takes about three months to feel comfortable with your new knee or hip. However, improved results may be seen up to a year after surgery.
What Is Total Hip Replacement Versus Hip Resurfacing?
The hip joint is a “ball and socket” type joint. THA is a surgical procedure that involves removing the arthritic or damaged hip joint and reconstructing it with an artificial prosthesis. The surgical procedure involves removing the top of portion your damaged hip joint and replacing it with a metal ball and metal stem down into the shaft of your thigh bone (femur). The socket part is also replaced with a metal socket. The indication to perform this operation is pain in the hip or groin that has failed non-operative measures and is interfering with quality of life.
Hip resurfacing is another surgical procedure performed for patients with arthritis of the hip. This surgery is indicated for younger patients who live an active lifestyle. The hip joint is resurfaced and not replaced. The easiest way to describe this procedure is it similar to a “dental capping procedure.” Unlike the convential THA, the top of the femur (thigh bone) is not replaced and more bone is conserved. However, not all patients are candidates for this procedure. You should consult with your orthopaedic surgeon to determine if this surgical procedure is indicated for you.
What Is the Difference Between a Uni-Knee Replacement Versus a Total Knee Replacement?
The knee is a hinge type joint. There are three compartments in the knee (medial, lateral and patellafemoral). A total knee replacement involves replacement of all three compartments of the knee, replacing it with a metal cap on the lower end of the thigh bone (femur) and on the upper end of the leg bone (tibia) and a plastic bushing in between. The knee cap (patella) is also resurfaced with either plastic or metal and plastic. This allows the artificial knee joint to glide smoothly.
A unicompartmental arthroplasty involves replacement of either the lateral or medial compartment of the knee, and leaving the rest of the compartments alone and preserving more bone for future surgery. This surgery is less invasive than the convential TKA and recovery is quicker. However, not all patients are candidates for this procedure. You should consult with your orthopaedic surgeon to determine if this surgical procedure is indicated for you.