A joint is a location that connects two or more bones together. It provides support and helps in movement of the knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder. A diseased or injured joint results in joint pain and interferes with the joint movement. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, strains, sprains, and other injuries usually lead to painful joints, stiffness, and swelling. Hence, joint restoration becomes essential to repair injured joints, reduce the progression of arthritis, and restore the joints’ original functions.
Joint restoration initially consists of a conservative approach to relieve pain and promote healing. The conservative therapy includes rest, modifying activities, physical therapy, and medications. However, surgery may be essential for those who do not benefit from the non-surgical treatment. Surgery may involve joint reconstruction or joint replacement.
Joint reconstruction includes procedures ranging from minor joint repairs to total joint replacement. The type of joint reconstructive procedure is chosen based on the severity of your joint disorder. Various surgical procedures for joint reconstruction include cartilage restoration, ligament and tendon repair, osteotomy, joint resurfacing and total joint replacement.
- Osteotomy: Osteotomy (cutting of the bone) is performed when the knee joint has been damaged due to the presence of early-stage osteoarthritis. The osteotomy procedure shifts the weight off from the damaged part of the joint and relieves pain. This also helps in increasing the function of the arthritic knee.
- Tendon repair: Suture anchors are used to sew the tendons to the kneecap. This technique brings back the original functions of the joint and its surrounding tissues.
- Resurfacing surgery: Hip resurfacing involves replacing and capping of the damaged hip ball with a metal prosthesis. It does not involve complete replacement of the hip ball. It is recommended for younger patients and has lower chances of dislocation as compared to total hip replacement.
Joint replacement involves replacing a damaged joint with an artificial one. This procedure replaces only the damaged parts of joint instead of a complete joint replacement. The prosthesis used as a new joint can be either plastic, metal or both. The prosthesis can be cemented or non-cemented or both methods can be combined together to keep the joint in place.
A minimally invasive joint replacement surgery is performed through smaller, less-invasive approaches. This approach prevents disruption of the surrounding joint muscles and soft-tissues. The minimally invasive approach has advantages of less muscle dissection, minimal pain, quick recovery, and faster rehabilitation.