Areas of the body such as the knees, wrists, and hips can be severely affected by a number of conditions that limit range of motion and cause significant pain and discomfort. Cartilage of the joints can become worn down or damaged by trauma and disease, ultimately having an effect on your way of life. Joint replacement and other procedures involving treatment of damaged joints require extremely skilled and experienced joint replacement surgeons. At All-Star Orthopaedics, Drs. Thomas M. Schott, Mark S. Greenberg, Bing S. Tsay, and Kevin M. Honig offer state-of-the-art techniques to help you reduce pain and improve mobility in areas affected by arthritis and other conditions.
Although we typically only recommend surgery after other methods, such as medication and physical therapy, have been attempted, the team here at All-Star Orthopedics includes a number of specialists who can perform intricate surgical procedures designed to significantly improve your condition and reduce pain.
- Joint Replacement Candidates
- Types of Joint Replacement
- Alternatives to Joint Replacement
- Additional Joint Replacement FAQs
Do I Need Joint Replacement Surgery?
Joint replacement surgery may be needed if you have joint damage causing severe pain and/or a limited range of motion affecting your quality of life. This may result from a variety of issues, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, previous injuries, infection, or other problems like osteonecrosis.
One of the most common reasons for joint replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, which is the gradual breaking down of cartilage in the joints. Typically affecting the hips, knees, hands, and feet, it is one of the more common, advanced forms of arthritis and can cause significant pain and debilitation. There are a variety of treatments for osteoarthritis, including non-surgical and surgical remedies. Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis) is another common cause of joint damage requiring surgery. This condition is caused by a disruption of blood flow to the bone, leading to the death of bone tissue. Osteonecrosis can eventually cause severe osteoarthritis.
If you receive a diagnosis indicating your joint needs treatment, which can often be established after X-rays, our surgeons will always consider the most conservative methods first before recommending joint replacement. If non-surgical treatment does not provide sufficient improvement with your condition, joint replacement surgery may be indicated. While there is no maximum age limit for being a good candidate, your surgeon will evaluate your general health and medical history to determine if joint replacement is appropriate for your needs.
What Are the Types of Joint Replacement?
- Hip Replacement
- Knee Replacement
- Foot & Ankle Replacement
- Shoulder Joint Replacement
- Wrist Joint Replacement
Hip replacement is a very common procedure, typically performed on patients affected by osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, injury, and other conditions can also necessitate hip replacement. Symptoms of hip arthritis are often characterized by aching pains in the hip that can be chronic or only occur occasionally. The pain from hip arthritis can sometimes also spread to the groin, thigh, buttock, and perhaps even the knee. Our treatment options include minimally invasive surgical techniques that can reduce pain, improve function, and enhance well-being.
Learn more about Hip Replacement.
Damage to the knee by any means can lead to mobility difficulties and pain. Symptoms of arthritis in the knee include increased pain during activity, swelling, stiffness, and warmth in the joint. The latest non-surgical treatments can help address these concerns, but when minimally invasive approaches prove ineffective, our extensively trained team of orthopaedic surgeons can perform arthroscopic knee replacement surgery. Our innovative methods make it possible to restore pain-free motion to this hard-working joint and improve quality of life.
Learn more about Knee Replacement.
Foot & Ankle Replacement
Ankle replacement surgery, or total ankle arthroplasty (TAA), is used to treat damage from arthritis and help patients return to comfortable movement. During the procedure, damaged tissues and bone are removed and replaced with metal and plastic components that mimic the natural ankle joint. Dr. Straus, who is certified in the latest ankle replacement methods and technology, can determine if this technique is appropriate for your needs. We emphasize non-surgical treatments foremost, but if those prove ineffective, TAA may be able to help you to enjoy greater ankle motion and significantly less discomfort.
Learn more about Foot & Ankle Replacement.
Shoulder Joint Replacement
Although rarely necessary, shoulder joint replacement surgery can help patients who have struggled to find relief from pain due to arthritis, injury, or wear and tear in this area. Many patients with severe shoulder arthritis find activity causes significantly greater discomfort and aching, and the pain typically increases with time. If minimally invasive and non-surgical options are unhelpful, surgical intervention can help clear away damaged tissue and restore function with less downtime than ever before.
Learn more about Shoulder Replacement.
Wrist Joint Replacement
Wrist joint replacement can help those affected by arthritis, injury, disease, or infection in the wrist. These conditions can cause cartilage between bones in the wrist to wear down. This can become very painful and cause stiffness, swelling, and difficulty gripping objects. Wrist joint replacement involves removing the ends of the bones that are exhibiting worn-out cartilage and replacing them with artificial joints. The procedure can be performed as an outpatient. A cast will be required for the first several weeks after surgery, followed by a protective splint for the following six to eight weeks. Patients will need to perform routine exercises with the wrist after the splint is removed to improve strength. Follow-up appointments (about once a year) after surgery is generally recommended to ensure the artificial joints and implants are working properly.
Learn more about Wrist Joint Replacement.
What Are Non-Surgical Alternatives to Joint Replacement?
Although joint replacement is the best solution for many men and women, there are other treatments that may be recommended before surgery is considered. For those looking to reduce their symptoms without surgery, weight loss, exercise, braces, orthotics, or anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful. Patients in need of more advanced treatment may be eligible for joint injections.
Those who are overweight may find that extra pressure on their joints is painful and makes it difficult to exercise, which is why weight loss can sometimes be an effective method for easing joint pain. Plus, research shows that carrying extra weight can speed the breakdown of cartilage in certain joints, like the knees. Regularly performing low-impact exercise may also provide some relief from pain and reduced mobility. Whether it is biking, walking, or visiting a physical therapist, strengthening the muscles that support a joint can often preserve its function. Wearing a brace or orthotics may also be helpful for some candidates. Anti-inflammatory medication is another option that may help control joint discomfort that affects daily activities.
For those with more advanced joint damage, joint injections may be recommended as a non-surgical alternative to joint replacement. At All-Star Orthopaedics, our surgeons are experienced with joint fluid therapy and hylagen injection therapy, which can both offer relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis. This type of treatment can be performed in a relatively short procedure and typically has minimal recovery time.
If non-surgical treatments do not provide adequate improvement for osteoarthritis or other joint problems, one of our board-certified orthopaedic surgeons may discuss joint replacement surgery with you. While surgical intervention is not right for everyone, it can significantly reduce (if not completely eliminate) joint pain in the right candidates while restoring a healthy range of motion, helping to improve your overall quality of life.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the image below to download ‘Joint Replacement’ FAQs with Dr. Schott