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What is Joint Replacement?

Total joint replacements are generally used to reduce the pain and immobility associated with severe, debilitating osteoarthritis or traumatic injury of the knee or hip, which can limit everyday activities.

The Joint Academy at Sugar Land Hospital delivers quality and comprehensive care. Orthopedic surgeons, specialty trained nurses, therapists, and other caregivers work together toward one common goal—to improve your quality of life.

Knee Replacement

Knee joint replacement is surgery to replace a painful, damaged, or diseased knee joint with an artificial joint (prosthesis). Alternative names include total knee replacement, knee arthoplasty, and total knee replacement. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia.

The orthopedic surgeon makes a surgical cut over the affected knee. The kneecap (patella) is moved out of the way, and the ends of the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) are cut to fit the prosthesis. The undersurface of the kneecap is cut to allow the surgeon to place an artificial piece.

The four parts of the prosthesis are fixed onto the ends of the femur, tibia, and undersurface of the patella with or without bone cement. Usually, metal is used on the end of the femur, and plastic is used on the tibia and patella for the new knee surface. The prosthesis includes the:

  • Femoral
  • Tibial
  • Patella components

Patients begin weight bearing and motion of the knee the day of surgery and can usually walk without assistance within a few weeks.

Hip Replacement

Hip joint replacement is surgery to replace all or part of the hip joint with an artificial device (prosthesis). Alternative names include hip arthroplasty, total hip replacement, and hip hemiarthroplasty.

The hip is a ball and socket joint located where the head of the thigh bone (femur) meets the pelvic bone. A total hip prosthesis is surgically implanted to replace the damaged bone within the hip joint. The total hip prosthesis consists of three parts:

  • Cup, usually metal, replaces your hip socket. Other materials may be used, such as ceramic and metal liners.
  • Metal or ceramic ball to replace the head of the femur.
  • Metal stem attached to the shaft of the femur bone to add stability to the prosthesis. If the surgery is a hemiarthroplasty, the only bone replaced with a prosthetic device is the head of the femur.

The surgery is performed using general or spinal anesthesia. The head of the femur is removed. The new socket is implanted, after which the metal stem is inserted into the femur. The artificial components are fixed in place, sometimes with special bone cement.

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