More than 700,000 knee and hip replacements or joint implants are performed each year in the United States. Shoulder replacement is less common, but 23,000 people have that surgery each year.
At UVA, we offer the most advanced techniques for both partial and total knee replacements and total hip reconstruction.
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 only the diseased cartilage and bone are removed.
Why 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
What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?
The surgery involves removing the damaged or diseased cartilage and bone in the joints (where two or more bones come together). The surgeon then puts in place the implants, which are made out of a combination of metal and plastic materials.
Learn more about joint replacements:
Joint Implants: How Long Do They Last?
Implants 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.