Replacement of the Hip, Knee and Shoulder
Total joint replacement relieves pain by replacing an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial one called a prosthesis. The prosthesis is generally composed of a metal piece that fits closely into a matching sturdy plastic piece. A plastic bone cement may be used to anchor the prosthesis into the bone or it may be implanted without cement when the prosthesis and the bone are designed to fit and lock together directly.
The Joint Replacement Center at California Pacific Medical Center is the Bay Area leader in joint replacement with 1,149 procedures performed in 2007.
When to Replace a Joint
A joint is formed by the ends of two or more bones, which are connected by thick tissues. The bone ends are covered with a smooth layer called cartilage. Normal cartilage allows nearly frictionless and pain-free joint movement.
The process whereby cartilage becomes damaged or diseased is known as arthritis. The affected joint resultantly becomes stiff, swollen and painful. Joint pain may also be caused by trauma, such as a serious fracture or an injury that doesn't heal properly. The pain may be so severe a person will avoid using the joint, weakening the muscles around it and making movement even more difficult. When other treatment options such as medication, physical therapy and lifestyle adjustments do not relieve joint pain and disability, total joint replacement may be considered.
Joint replacement surgery can provide remarkable relief of pain from arthritic joints. In doing so, many patients are able to return to fully active lives. Surgical techniques and implants have improved dramatically in recent years, providing for faster recovery and functional return.
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What Happens After Surgery?
Typically, a short hospital stay is required following total joint replacement. As part of the continuum of care provided at California Pacific Medical Center, patients of the Comprehensive Joint Care Program begin working with physical and occupational therapists shortly after their procedures.
Therapists design specific exercise programs that patients can perform independently to accelerate the recovery process. The muscle groups supporting the replaced joint are treated to achieve optimal strength and balance to the joint and limb, as well as restoring optimum joint motion. Treatment includes muscle balance and precautionary education along with pain management. Occupational therapists assist patients in resuming daily self-care tasks.
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For more information about the Joint Replacement Center and to find a physician, please call us at 888-637-2762.
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