Pacific Rim Orthopedic Surgeons

Joint Replacement

When To Consider Joint Replacement

A normal cartilage layer in joints allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. When it is damaged or diseased by arthritis, joints become stiff and painful. Every joint is enclosed by a fibrous tissue envelope or capsule with a smooth tissue lining, called the synovium. The synovium produces fluid that reduces friction and wear in a joint.

After examination, joint replacement is considered if other treatment options will not relieve the pain and disability. The materials used in a joint replacement are designed to enable it to move just like a natural joint.

Various prosthetic joint parts laying on a table.

Joint Replacement Services

There can be several causes for hip pain and joint replacement surgery, ranging from trauma to disease, and the extent of damage to a hip joint dictates the type of hip replacement surgery recommended.

Knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty or knee joint replacement surgery is a common procedure that is highly effective at pain and stiffness reduction in the knee. 

Ankle replacement surgery, or ankle arthroplasty, treats ankle arthritis and several other conditions that affect the joint. The operation can help reduce ankle pain, better joint stability, and improve overall mobility.

Toe joint replacement, or toe arthroplasty, is most often performed on the big toe and helps restore its function and reduce pain caused by an injury, arthritis, or other conditions that cause the toe joint damage.

Elbow replacement surgery, alternatively known as elbow joint replacement surgery or elbow arthroplasty, helps to relieve chronic pain in the elbow and restore the range of motion by replacing the damaged joint with a prosthetic one.

Shoulder joint replacement surgery, also known as shoulder replacement surgery and shoulder arthroplasty, removes damaged areas of bone and replaces them with metal or plastic implants to relieve pain and restore range of motion to the patient.

When arthritis progresses enough, deformities of the finger are more common, and a crooked finger can be expected. To better help patients who may need finger joint replacement, we’ve outlined the operation and detailed when a person can expect that recommendation.

A doctor having a discussion with their patient.

Recovery Process

In general, your surgeon will encourage you to use your “new” joint shortly after your operation.

For hip and knee replacements, you will often stand and begin walking the day after the procedure. Initially, you will walk with a walker, crutches, or a cane. Most patients have some temporary pain in the replaced joint because the surrounding muscles are weak from inactivity and the tissues are healing.

Exercise is an important part of the recovery process. Your surgeon will discuss an exercise program for you after surgery. This varies for different joint replacements and for the differing needs of each patient.

After your procedure, you may be permitted to play golf, walk, and dance. More strenuous sports, such as tennis or running, may be discouraged. The motion of your joint will generally improve after the procedure.