Joint replacement surgery, is a procedure of orthopedic surgery in which an arthritic or dysfunctional joint surface is replaced with an orthopedic prosthesis. Joint replacement is considered as a treatment when severe joint pain or dysfunction is not alleviated by less-invasive therapies. It is a form of arthroplasty, and is often indicated from various joint diseases, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Joint replacement surgery is becoming more common with knees and hips replaced most often. Joint replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.

In a joint replacement, the abnormal bone and lining structures of the joint are removed surgically, and new parts are inserted in their places. These new parts may be made of special metal or plastic or specific kinds of carbon-coated implants. The new parts allow the joints to move again with little or no pain.

Replacing a joint can reduce pain and help you move and feel better. Hips and knees are replaced most often. Other joints that can be replaced include the shoulders, fingers, ankles, and elbows.

Artificial joints may help to:

  • Reduce joint pain
  • Restore or maintain joint motion
  • Improve the look and alignment of the joint or joints
  • Improve overall function

The goals of joint replacement surgery are to relieve pain, help the joint work better, and improve walking and other movements.

Risks of problems after joint replacement surgery are much lower than they used to be.

An exercise program can reduce joint pain and stiffness.