Find a long-term pain solution with minimally invasive joint replacement.
With the developments in medical equipment and medical techniques, you can experience a joint replacement procedure that is quick and done in an outpatient setting, with durable and quality materials. At Orange County Orthopedic Center, we want to make sure you can return to your regular activities.
- May use metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthesis
- Many patients feel as though they have been given a new life
Joint replacement is typically used as a last resort when other methods for treatment are not effective. If you have tried other avenues for relief and are finding that your everyday activities are still limited and you are in continuous pain, your doctor might talk to you about joint replacement therapy for your knees, hips, or shoulders.
This method of surgery relieves pain, increases mobility, and allows you to return to regular activities after a relatively quick recovery. It can involve a total replacement, where the entire joint is replaced with a prosthetic, or a partial replacement, where only one part of the damaged joint is replaced.
After your joint replacement therapy, you will have a follow-up appointment to make sure that your surgery was effective and that you are healing. You may need to begin physical therapy soon afterward to get used to moving with your joint replacement.
Your body contains 360 joints. Any damage to these joints can result in pain that makes it difficult to carry out your daily activities. Experiencing pain and stiffness could make you a candidate for outpatient joint replacement, especially if other treatment methods haven’t worked.
Joint damage is often caused by inflammatory conditions that get progressively worse. If you are an athlete, joint problems could make it difficult or impossible for you to continue with your sport. Even for non-athletic patients, daily activities like going down stairs or putting on shoes can become difficult. Joint replacement restores these abilities.
The minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure is often referred to as a keyhole method. With small incisions and precise instruments used to insert the replacement components, disruption to muscles and other nearby structures is avoided.
The materials that are used for a total joint replacement are made to last for many years, With a healthy lifestyle, you can extend the life of your joint replacement and participate in daily activities and sporting endeavors.
Some of the most common types of joint replacement we perform are:
- Anterior hip replacement – The repacement of the hip through the front as opposed to the back or side
- Total hip replacement – The replacement of all or part of the hip with a prosthesis
- Revision hip replacement – Adjustments made to a previous hip replacement
- Total knee replacement – The resurfacing of an arthritis knee joint with artificial parts
- Revision knee replacement – Adjustments made to a previous knee replacement
The human body consists of 360 joints. Any of these joints may become damaged at one time or another to the point where related pain makes it difficult to maintain your preferred lifestyle. If you are experiencing any type of joint pain, you may be a good candidate for total joint replacement performed with less-invasive arthroscopic techniques. Such procedures are appealing since risks are minimal and not as much time is needed to fully recover. Here’s what you need to know if you are considering joint replacement.
Replacement Becomes an Option When Other Treatments Aren’t Effective
Initial treatments for joint problems often involve the use of pain and anti-inflammatory medications and various forms of physical therapy. Some patients benefit from steroid injections directly into the affected part of the joint, modification of activities until the joint heals, and the direct application of heat and cold to ease swelling, increase circulation, and stimulate tissue healing. Joint replacement becomes a possibility when these treatments aren’t providing meaningful relief.
Joint Damage Can Have a Significant Impact on Quality of Life
A common source of joint damage is progressive inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Depending on the part of the body affected, patients may have increased difficulty with daily activities like climbing stairs and putting on socks. For athletes, joint-related problems can affect performance. Joints may also become weak, deformed, or damaged due to:
- Repetitive stress and overuse injuries
- Physical deformities or abnormalities of a joint
- Inherited disorders affecting joints and cartilage
- Severe trauma affecting joint cartilage
Damaged Joints Are Replaced with Realistic and Durable Artificial Ones
During joint replacement, a prosthesis (artificial joint) is inserted after the original joint is removed through small incisions using specially designed instruments. Joints commonly replaced are either hinged or ball-and-socket joints. Materials for the joint are often a combination of titanium, stainless steel, and ceramic or plastic components.
The replacement joint may be attached directly to the supporting bone with a special type of cement. It can also be a press-to-fit type of joint that’s designed to allow bone tissue to naturally grow into the implant. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the affected area will provide support to the new joint.
Hip, Shoulder, and Knee Joints are the Ones Typically Replaced
While elbows, wrists, and ankles are among the many joints that can be replaced if conservative treatments or remedies aren’t providing sufficient relief, it’s hip, shoulder, and knee joints that are often replaced. Total hip and shoulder replacements both involve ball-and-socket joints. These are multi-part joints where a smooth, rounded bone fits naturally into a hollow socket to provide movement. The knee is supported by a hinge joint, meaning it allows movement in one direction only.
With hip replacement, the “ball” is the head of the thigh bone (femur) and the acetabulum is the cup-shaped socket. When necessary, the joint is resurfaced in areas where there’s cartilage and bone deterioration. Post-traumatic arthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, and degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) are among the reasons why shoulder joint replacement may be recommended. Knee joint replacement may be recommended for patients with severe arthritis or significant damage to bones and tissues from an injury or deformity.
Arthroscopy Is a Less Intrusive Way to Replace Joints
Sometimes referred to as “keyhole strategy,” arthroscopy is a minimally invasive approach to accessing a joint. With many outpatient procedures, a local anesthetic is used. Prior to surgery, an arthroscopy may be used for diagnostic purposes to observe the joint and assess the extent of the damage.
When arthroscopic surgery is performed to replace the joint, shorter incisions are made to remove damaged structures and insert the artificial components needed to replace the joint. “Muscle sparring” techniques avoid disruption to nearby structures as much as possible. Patients will go through a customized physical rehabilitation program during the recovery process to restore full function of the replaced joint.
Materials used during a joint replacement are designed to last for many years. You’ll likely enjoy even more benefits from arthroscopic joint replacement if you make an effort to maintain a normal weight, remain active with appropriate exercise and eating habits, and take precautions such as doing proper warm-up before exercise or participating in sports. A specialist will perform a thorough evaluation to determine if total joint replacement is right for you.