Will joint replacement help my arthritis?
The most frequent reason for performing a total joint replacement is to relieve the pain and disability caused by severe arthritis as the result of disease, aging or injury.
The surfaces of a joint may be damaged by osteoarthritis, a wearing away of the cartilage in a joint. In rheumatoid arthritis, chemical substances attack the joint surface and destroy the cartilage.
Any joint may be affected. The most common surgical sites are knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and ankle.
Arthritis symptoms may include:
- Swelling in the joint
- Stiffness particularly in the morning
- Inability to move a joint normally or walk a reasonable distance
- Recurring pain or tenderness
- Warmth and redness in the joint
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, offers answers to commonly asked questions.
Questions and Answers About Hips (.pdf)
Questions and Answers About Knees (.pdf)