A hip or knee joint replacement is surgery to remove and replace a damaged or arthritic joint with a prosthesis or artificial joint. This may be considered only when other treatment options to improve function or relieve pain have failed.
Joint replacement is recommended where there is severe pain that limits activity and does not respond to nonsurgical medical management. There would also be an area of bone-to-bone contact in the weight-bearing joint.
With a total or partial knee replacement, the joint surfaces, not the bone would be replaced. One or more of the knee’s three compartments would be replaced with an artificial surface made of plastic and metal in a total knee replacement. These compartments are found inside, underneath, and outside of the knee cap. A partial knee replacement involves only one of the compartments.
For hip replacement surgery, damaged cartilage and bone will be removed from the hip joint to be replaced with artificial parts. The incision may be made on the back, front, or side of the hip.
As with any surgery, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Reviewed by Dr. Gurpal Singh, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Centre for Orthopaedics and Hip and Knee Surgery