Total Joint Replacement
Joint Replacement Surgery
If you have osteoarthritis, chances are that one day you will need joint replacement surgery. As a degenerative disease, osteoarthritis causes the articular cartilage inside joints to break down. As the cartilage erodes, the bones start rubbing together, which causes pain and disability. As the pain increases, it impacts your ability to do the activities you once enjoyed. At this point, it is likely time to consider joint replacement.
The board-certified, fellowship-trained surgeons at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey (OAWJ) use the latest techniques in joint replacement surgery, including minimally invasive procedures, to perform hip, knee, and shoulder joint replacement.
These procedures can effectively eliminate pain and return mobility to people with severe cartilage damage within the hip or knee joint. In both cases, the joint is surgically removed and replaced with a prosthesis.
In a total hip replacement, the “ball and socket” parts of the hip and upper thigh bone (femur) are replaced with an artificial implant meant to act and move like your natural hip.
In a total knee replacement, the entire hinge joint of the knee is replaced with an implant.
In many cases, osteoarthritis or traumatic injury leads to the need for a total hip or knee replacement surgery.
Our surgeons perform both traditional and minimally invasive hip and knee replacement. The procedures differ regarding the length of the incision (longer for traditional, shorter for minimally invasive) and the degree to which surrounding tissues are disturbed.
During a traditional joint replacement, the doctor typically has to cut through certain muscles or tendons to reach the joint, whereas during a minimally invasive procedure they can either move these tissues aside or make a small incision. Minimally invasive joint replacement results in less post-surgical pain, a speedier recovery, and less scarring.
Not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive joint replacement. Your OAWJ surgeon will evaluate your condition and health status to determine if the procedure is right for you.
Total shoulder replacement surgeries are not as common as hip or knee replacements. Even so, an estimated 50,000+ people have a shoulder replacement procedure each year.
The shoulder is another type of ball-and-socket joint. The “ball” portion of the upper arm bone (humerus) and the “socket” portion of the shoulder blade (scapula) are replaced with prosthetic implants in the surgery.
A total shoulder replacement may be required due to chronic or acute injuries. Rotator cuff tears – injury to the mass of muscles and tendons that power the arms – can also result in the need for a shoulder replacement surgery.
When the rotator cuff is significantly damaged, a reverse shoulder replacement may be necessary. This essentially swaps the location of the ball and socket – thus, a “ball” is surgically created in the shoulder blade, while a “socket” is created at the upper end of the arm bone. This allows a different set of muscles (deltoid) to power the arm, instead of the damaged rotator cuff muscles.
There are three “compartments” to the knee: medial (inside), lateral (outside), and patellofemoral (front, between kneecap and thighbone).
When damage is restricted to a single compartment of the knee, a unicompartmental knee replacement (or partial knee replacement) may be performed to successfully treat the issue. In this case, only the damaged portion of the knee joint is replaced with a prosthetic implant.
An added benefit of having a partial (rather than total) knee replacement is that a partial procedure does not involve the removal of ligaments, so there is less trauma to surrounding tissue during the procedure, less pain, and a faster recovery as a result.
No matter the type of joint replacement surgery you need, rest assured that our goal is your rapid return to your daily routines.
If arthritis is causing you undue pain, meet with one of our total joint replacement specialists to discuss your options. Call Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey at (973) 989-0888 to schedule your appointment with one our orthopedic surgeons or you can request an appointment online.