Advertisement

What is a total joint replacement?

Robert J. Otto, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
A total joint replacement replaces all surfaces of the joint. For instance, in a total knee replacement, we replace all three compartments of the joint:
  • the inside or medial
  • the outside or lateral
  • the patellofemoral, behind the kneecap
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
A total joint replacement is a major surgery used to repair a joint that has extensive osteoarthritis damage. It is usually very successful. Knees and hips can be replaced, but less commonly shoulders and elbows can be replaced too. In a joint replacement, doctors resurface the ends of bones and attach artificial joint surfaces that can move without causing pain. In a knee replacement, for example, the ends of the femur, or thigh bone, and the tibia, or shin bone, are resurfaced. Then the artificial joint is attached. Healing and physical therapy can take months after one of these major surgeries.

Continue Learning about Osteoarthritis Treatment

Ease Knee Osteoarthritis Pain With These Alternative Remedies
Ease Knee Osteoarthritis Pain With These Alternative Remedies
Don’t get sidelined by pain from knee osteoarthritis. Integrative medicine expert Robin Miller, MD, explains how Eastern therapies—including acupunctu...
Read More
What types of healthcare providers are involved in treating osteoarthritis?
HealthyWomenHealthyWomen
The types of healthcare providers involved in the treatment of osteoarthritis include: a primary ...
More Answers
When should I have foot surgery for osteoarthritis?
Dr. Joan R. Williams, MDDr. Joan R. Williams, MD
Foot surgery for osteoarthritis is often considered if the pain from osteoarthritis gets to the poin...
More Answers
Is Your Back Pain Osteoarthritis?
Is Your Back Pain Osteoarthritis?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.