Total Joint Replacement: Is It For Me?

From an interview with
Dr. Thomas Distefano
McLeod Orthopaedics Cheraw

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic, or ceramic device called a prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed to replicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint.

Joint replacement surgery is typically recommended for patients who have advanced end-stage joint disease (usually of the knee or the hip) who have tried non-surgical treatment, but still experience a decline in their mobility and disabling pain.

The American College of Rheumatology states that approximately 790,000 total knee replacements and over 450,000 hip replacements are performed annually in the U.S. This number continues to grow as our population ages. McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Thomas Distefano explains the outcomes for this type of surgery.

“Total joint replacement is considered one of the most successful procedures in medicine. Multiple studies indicate that joint replacement relieves pain, improves function, and enhances the quality of life.

Patient satisfaction after joint replacement is highly correlated to postoperative pain relief. Before having a joint replacement, you should know what to expect. Discuss pain management with your doctor before surgeries.

For patients with advanced arthritic disease, joint replacement has proven to be a reliable and successful intervention with good clinical outcomes. If you experience joint pain, talk to an orthopedic surgeon to find out if joint replacement surgery is right for you.”

Hip and knee replacements are the most commonly performed joint replacements, but replacement surgery can be performed on other joints, as well, including the ankle, wrist, shoulder, and elbow.

If you’d like more information about total joint replacement, speak with an orthopedic surgeon near you.