There are a number of conditions which can cause joint pain including damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones (articular cartilage) either from arthritis, a fracture or another condition.
Replacing a joint can reduce pain and help patients to move better. A total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a prosthesis (a metal, ceramic or plastic device). The prosthesis replicates the movement of the normal, healthy joint.
Hips and knees are replaced most often but joint replacement surgery can also be performed on the ankle, wrist, shoulder and elbow. Robotic surgery can be used for partial and total hip and knee replacements.
Thanks to significant advances in implant manufacture, a replacement joint will last at least 20-30 years, meaning that this treatment is now an attractive option for the treatment of advanced arthritis even in younger more active patients.