What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee or hip. Joints can be damaged by arthritis and other diseases, or by55 injuries. Arthritis or simply years of use may cause the joint to wear away. This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling and can interfere with your ability to live a normal life.  Joint replacement surgery is removing a damaged joint and putting in a new one and the surgery is generally done by a specialist orthopaedic surgeon.

Why is joint replacement sometimes the recommended treatment?

Before joint replacement is considered as a solution, virtually every other appropriate option will have been tried.  These include physical therapy and medicines for arthritis that reduce inflammation. Where severe pain or deformity interfere with your ability to live a normal life the doctor may suggest a joint replacement. Replacing a joint generally relieves pain and helps you move and feel much better.

What is the replacement joint made of?

A new joint can be made of plastic, metal, or both. The components of replacement knee joints may be made of a strong metal alloy which articulates against high quality moulded plastic.

Can joint replacement be done at a local hospital?

At Hibiscus Private Hospital in Port Shepstone, joint replacement surgery is regularly performed and significant strides have been made in the use of the leading-edge internationally-recognised technique known as minimally invasive joint surgery. Typical knee replacement surgery may involve a week to 10 days in hospital and a surgical incision of up to 20 cm or more. In typical knee replacement surgery, significant incisions are made in the muscle tissue itself and the healing and convalescing process may be extended because of joint stiffness.

What are the advantages of minimally invasive surgery?

The trend in surgery in general is toward interfering less with your body and returning your life to normal as soon as possible. This involves smaller incisions, quicker healing and less time in hospital.  Minimally invasive knee surgery can be summed up as a case of “less is better.” Less invasion of the joint, less pain after surgery, less surgery to the muscle, less blood loss, less overall discomfort and less physiotherapy afterwards. The shorter hospital stay also means less cost.

Is there a possible downside to joint replacement?

This should be discussed with your orthopaedic surgeon who will help you weigh advantages against possible complications. You can help by maintaining a healthy lifestyle including exercise, as recommended, and keeping your weight under control.

Hibiscus Private Hospital

Minimally-invasive knee replacement surgery, though more common in the United States and Britain is still in its infancy in South Africa. It is however one of a broad range of surgical procedures performed by a specialist at Hibiscus Private Hospital. More information can be found by visiting this website