Joint Replacement for Arthritis Treatment in Seattle, WA
For patients suffering from arthritis, joint replacement can be a successful treatment option that alleviates pain and restores joint function.
Introduced to the United States in the 1960s, joint replacement involves removing a damaged joint and replacing it with a prosthetic implant, usually made of metal, ceramic, or plastic materials. Since its introduction to the United States, the number of surgical options for joint replacement has multiplied, giving patients several minimally invasive choices when treating arthritis.
Joint replacement is most commonly performed on the hips, knees, and shoulders. This is due to the weight-bearing nature of the hips and knees, and the inherent instability of the shoulder, as well as its susceptibility to frequent injury. Other joints, such as those in the hands and feet, can also develop arthritis, potentially requiring replacement of these smaller joints.
Knee Arthritis Treatment
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and it is responsible for carrying the body's weight when walking, running, and standing. The knee is commonly affected by osteoarthritis, also described as degenerative joint disease, making these movements painful. Patients with knee arthritis have a number of joint replacement options, including:
- Total Knee Replacement, which removes the arthritic cartilage and replaces it with a prosthetic implant
- Persona Knee Replacement (personal fit-renewed life), an innovation in total knee replacement that creates a uniquely shaped implant based on the patient's anatomy
- Partial knee Replacement, which preserves more of the original knee joint compared to total knee replacement, and only replaces the affected compartment
- Cruciate-Retaining Knee Replacement, which seeks to preserve the ligaments that connect to the knee during the removal of arthritic bone
Partial knee replacement, Persona knee Replacement and cruciate-retaining knee replacement are less invasive, and tend to result in less post-operative pain and a shorter recovery period; however, not all patients are candidates for these procedures.
Partial knee replacement may be an option if the patient's knee arthritis is confined to a single compartment, while cruciate-retaining knee replacement may be available if the patient's connective ligaments, such as the ACL and the PCL, are still intact.
Hip Arthritis Treatment
As a ball-and-socket joint, the hip allows the leg to move through an extremely wide range of motion. This range of motion becomes limited when arthritis begins to wear down the hip joint, making walking, getting up from a chair, or even sitting, painful and difficult.
To treat hip arthritis, patients have a number of joint replacement options available, including:
- Total Hip Replacement, in which the arthritic hip joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic implant
- Hip Resurfacing, in which the surface of the femoral head is shaved off and capped with a metal prosthetic
- Computer-Assisted Hip Replacement, which allows patients to benefit from the precision and accuracy of a digitally-controlled robotic arm
All three of these surgical procedures aim to restore joint function by removing arthritic bone that causes pain during movement. Not every patient is a candidate for these procedures, so it is best to speak to a joint replacement specialist, such as Dr. Pritchett, who can recommend the most appropriate treatment option.
Shoulder Arthritis Treatment
Being naturally unstable, the shoulder is one of the most commonly injured and dislocated joints in the human body. Injury to the shoulder's components can eventually lead to arthritis later in life, causing pain and upper body immobility.
For patients with shoulder arthritis, the following joint replacement procedures may help restore the joint's function and alleviate arthritic symptoms:
- Total Shoulder Replacement, in which the arthritic shoulder joint is removed and replaced with a prosthetic implant
- Shoulder Resurfacing, which seeks to preserve as much of the original shoulder joint as possible while still removing the degraded surface
- Reverse Shoulder Replacement, which removes the arthritic joint and reverses the placement of the ball and socket components for increased stability
As with the other procedures outlined above, it is best to speak with an orthopedic surgeon to determine the best treatment option for the patient's unique case of arthritis. Shoulder resurfacing surgery is a complex procedure, which is best performed by a joint replacement specialist such as Dr. Pritchett.
Last Modified: July 30, 2014