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 limited mobility as a result of arthritis or injury
  • Pain that keeps you from sleeping or participating in normal day-to-day 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. 

Ninety percent of implants are in good shape after 10 years. After 20 years, 75 to 80 percent still perform well. A patient's activity level and other factors can affect how long an implant lasts.

Younger patients often recover faster from surgery and regain use of their joints faster than older patients. However, younger patients are also more likely to need the surgery repeated in the future because of 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

Some patients with shoulder arthritis or injury may be candidates for resurfacing arthroplasty, a procedure in which your surgeon only removes the diseased cartilage and bone. Consult with an orthopedic specialist to find out if an 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