Joint Replacement

Sometimes the best way to relieve pain and restore function to a joint is to resurface all or part of the joint with a prosthesis (an artificial joint). Prostheses are intended to restore function to the joint and relieve pain associated with arthritis, other chronic conditions, or traumatic injury.


Prostheses are designed to move like a regular joint. They are made of durable plastic and metal parts that fit together snugly but glide smoothly (as opposed to the painful friction associated with the worn cartilage of arthritic joints). The implants are held to the surrounding bone either by biologic in-growth or with a special bone cement. The length and difficulty of recovery depend on the location of the joint replaced, the technique used, as well as the patient's age and overall health. Hip or knee surgery typically requires temporary use of a cane or walker. Some pain and stiffness following surgery is normal. Gradually the weakened muscles regain strength and flexibility as the patient becomes accustomed to using the joint. Once in place, prostheses usually perform well for many years.

Which joints can be replaced?

The hip and knee are the most frequently replaced joints, although it is possible to treat many others.

Procedures include:

There are many exciting advances in joint replacement surgery including mini-incision hip and knee replacement, gender specific knee replacement, computer navigated hip, shoulder and knee replacement, partial (unicondylar) knee replacement, reverse ball and socket shoulder arthroplasty and alternative bearing (i.e. ceramic) joint arthroplasty. St. Charles Orthopedics is proud to be on the forefront of orthopedics, offering all of these above techniques. These advances offer quicker, less painful recovery from joint replacement surgery.

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