By Ehren Allen, PT, Certified Manual Therapist





What is Arthroplasty?

Arthroplasty is a procedure in which part or all of a joint is surgically replaced with synthetic parts.  Joint arthroplasty, or a joint replacement, has become the operation of choice for joints with extensive damage caused by osteoarthritis.  One of the most common causes of joint stiffness is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease resulting in joint destruction, stiffness and pain.


Which Joints need Arthroplasty the Most?

The most common joints that need a replacement are the knee, hip, and shoulder.  These are all large joints and require time to rehabilitate after the procedure.   Arthroplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia by an orthopedic surgeon.  These joints may require a replacement if the pain and stiffness become so severe that it interferes with basic daily activity.  Symptoms such as swelling, stiffness, night pain and locking of the joint are common complaints.

Another common joint to get replaced is the 1st Carpometacarpal (CMC) joint.  This is the joint where the thumb meets the wrist. This joint can wear out from excessive gripping activities over time.  A CMC arthroplasty typically requires hand therapy for several months after the procedure.


Knee Joint Pain


What Happens During an Arthroplasty?

An arthroplasty involves an open procedure to access the joint being replaced.  The orthopedic surgeon uses precise tools to remove the degenerated joint surface attaches the prosthetic joint surface to the bone.  In some cases, only one side of the joint requires a replacement.  This is called a partial joint arthroplasty.  In severe cases, both surfaces are replaced.  This is a total joint arthroplasty.

The orthopedic surgeon may use a robot assisted device to help accurately remove the damaged joint tissue.  This is called MAKOPlasty.  To learn more about MAKOPlasty, visit


How Long Does it take to Recover After an Arthroplasty?

Most patients stay in the hospital at least one night after a joint replacement.  Some require more than one night.  After the hospital stay, most patients receive home health physical therapy and nursing care for about 2 weeks.  They usually transition to outpatient physical therapy at that point.

After an arthroplasty, one the initial goals is to improve range of motion (ROM).  Sometimes, the surrounding tissue is tight from not moving much prior to surgery.  It is important to begin range of motion activity early after a joint replacement or arthroplasty.

Most patients can return to normal activity in a months but complete healing can take up to a year.  That does not mean that there will be pain that long.  Patient who are consistent and diligent with the exercises given in physical therapy tend to progress faster and have better outcomes.


If you would like to learn more about what an Orthopedic Surgeon does, go to

You can now schedule online new patient appointments at JOIONLINE.NET.

If you think you are a candidate for an arthroplasty and would like more information, call the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute @ JOI-2000 or click below.


Where is Telemedicine frequently used?

All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home. If you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopaedic Telehealth services for you. Through the download of the free Zoom app on the your phone, tablet or laptop. Our physicians and Telehealth for Physical Therapy can evaluate you and provide the care you need.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.


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