Doctor giving knee exam

Joint Replacement

You may be a candidate for joint replacement (or arthroplasty) if you have:

  • Chronic knee pain, hip pain or shoulder pain
  • Difficulty moving due to arthritis or injury
  • Pain that keeps you from sleeping or doing normal activities

At UVA, we offer: 

Joint replacement surgery class

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Join us for a free information session to learn everything you need to know about joint replacement surgery.

Learn About Joint Replacement
Joint Implants: How Long Do They Last?

Implants or replacements don't last forever. 

Implants stay in good shape for about 10 years. After 20 years, 75-80% still perform well. Your level of activity and other factors can affect how long an implant lasts.

Younger patients often recover faster from surgery. They regain use of their joints faster than older patients. But, younger patients may eventually need the surgery again, due to their longer life expectancy. 

Learn more about our orthopedic specialties and quality outcomes.

Alternatives to Joint Implants

If you're experiencing joint pain, the first step is to try alternatives to surgery, including:

  • Pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Injections of steroid injections or lubricants

If you have shoulder arthritis or injury, you might consider resurfacing arthroplasty. In this procedure, your surgeon only removes the diseased cartilage and bone. Talk with an orthopedic specialist to find out if this alternative would work for you.

Possible Complications of a Joint Replacement

Potential problems after surgery include:

  • Blood clots
  • Chronic weakness in knee joint
  • Dislocation
  • Infection
  • Swelling or bleeding
  • Squeaky joint
  • Worsening or unchanged pain

Your risk for complications increases with:

  • History of blood clots
  • Infections, like gum disease or urinary tract
  • Long-term illness
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Pre-existing medical condition
  • Smoking
  • Use of certain medications