This is one question which most of my arthritis patients, who are waiting for joint replacement surgery ask me. Actually the word is a misnomer, it should be actually cartilage replacement which I think is more self explanatory.The word Joint replacement makes the patient to think that the whole joint is completely replaced by cutting the bones across which we never do,instead we only shave the damaged cartilage with some underlying bone.

The joints in human body performs normally by the presence of a specialized tissue called cartilage. The cartilage covers the bone at the articulating surfaces like a mushroom and reduces the friction coefficient between the two surfaces, thereby enhancing the longevity of the joint.

In severe joint arthritis involving the knee, hip, shoulder and elbow, this specialized cartilagenous tissue is severely damaged, and the regenerating capability of the cartilage also is very meagre. Hence, the damaged cartilage is replaced by prosthesis in joint replacement surgery. So, it is not the bone forming the joint is replaced, but it is the damaged cartilage which is shaved and replaced by prosthesis. Nowadays this has become a relatively simple and one of the most common orthopedic procedures and we can definitely say that is procedure has given a new lease of life to patients who are sufering from severe arthiritis.

Dr.Elangovan.Ms,MCh ortho,

10 Thoughts to “Is the whole joint replaced in joint replacement ?”

  1. Limsa jerald

    Will there be any affections in the motor finction after replacement..sir??

    1. I presume you are asking about joint replacement, in that case the motor function will not be affected in any way.

  2. Ravi raghul

    Do u test for reaction of the patient to the material of the prosthetics and is it necessary to give medications prophylactic to prevent adverse reaction to the surgery?

  3. raghul

    Do u check for the reaction of the patient to the materials of the prosthesis. Do u give any prophylactic medication to prevent any adverse allergic reaction

  4. shreekanth

    prosthesis is foreign body kept in damaged part but it may cause any reaction or what sir after implanting it…??

    1. Shreekanth, Ravi ragul and Ragul have nearly asked the same queries in different ways.. you are fit
      to set question papers๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š.. jokes apart…there are generally 2 types of implants in orthopedic surgery,
      one does the job of stabilizing a fracture till it unites, and after union the implant becomes redundant,
      it can be removed and still the patient can have normal function .. but to avoid the patient being subjected
      to another surgery the implant is designed to be permanently inside the body, and hence the material used are inert materials including titanium, which doesnt act with the body fluids and are not rejected.
      The second type of implant is called the prosthesis which is used to replace joints and needs to be inside the body permanently
      if it is removed the patient will loose the function.
      Because the materials are inert they don’t act with body fluids, but very rarely they can produce metallosis ,
      which is a chemical reaction and not a rejection. Metallosis is very rare and we do not test them with patients for reaction
      since the testing has been already done in the lab during reaserch.

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