By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist

Arthroplasty at JOI

Should I Get a Joint Replacement?

Getting a joint replacement is a big decision. There is not a set answer for everyone. It is a choice that should be made by you and your orthopedic doctor. Many people choose to get a joint replacement when they cannot do the things they love to do anymore because of the pain. Severe arthritis is the main reason that a joint needs to be replaced.

A hip replacement or hip arthroplasty is necessary with some people with severe arthritis.

Hip Arthroplasty Anatomy

Image of a hip replacement or arthroplasty

  Arthritis can cause:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited movement
  • Deformation of a joint

Before making the decision to have a Joint Replacement or Arthroplasty, It is important to understand what is involved.  To learn more – read on.

To consult with JOI Joint Replacement Surgeon, Click here: Schedule Now.

What is Arthroplasty and What is the Definition of Arthroplasty?

The quick answer is that the meaning or definition of arthroplasty is joint replacement.  When a joint, such as a hip or knee, has severe arthritis, it may not move well anymore. There may also be severe pain with simple tasks like walking. When this happens, it may be necessary to replace the joint with new parts. This usually involves surgically removing the damaged surface of the joint and placing an artificial surface instead. A joint replacement may involve all of the surfaces in a joint (total joint arthroplasty) or just part of the surfaces (partial joint arthroplasty).

Which Joints Get Arthroplasties Most Often?

The most common joints that need a replacement are the knee, hip, and shoulder. These are all large joints and take time to heal after the procedure. Arthroplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia by an orthopedic surgeon. These joints may need 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.

A total knee arthroplasty has several major components.

Image of the part of a total knee replacement

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

What Happens During an Arthroplasty?

With an arthroplasty, while you are under anesthesia, the surgeon opens the skin over the joint area.  Then the orthopedic surgeon uses precise tools to remove the damaged joint surface.  Then, the attach the artificial joint surface to the bone.

To learn more about total knee replacement, watch this VIDEO.

What is Mako-Robotic Assisted Arthroplasty?

Makoplasty is a joint replacement where the surgeon uses a robot to help guide the procedure

Image of MAKO-Robotic Assisted Total Knee Arthroplasty

The quick answer is that a robotic technology helps with the joint replacement surgery.  The orthopedic surgeon may use a robotic-assisted device to help accurately remove the damaged joint tissue.   To learn more about Mako-Robotic Joint Replacements, Read this ARTICLE.

How Long Does it take to Recover After an Arthroplasty?

Recovery after arthroplasty can take several months. Physical therapy is a major component of recovery.

Knee after joint replacement

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.

Doctors are now performing 23 Hour Joint Replacement procedures as well.  In some cases, there are even same-day joint replacement procedures.

To learn more about the 23 Hour Joint Replacement, click HERE.

After an arthroplasty, one of the first goals is to improve the 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 few months but complete healing can take up to a year. That does not mean that there will be pain that long. Patients who are consistent and diligent with the exercises given in physical therapy tend to progress faster and have better outcomes.

Arthroplasty vs. Arthroscopy, What’s the Difference?

Arthroscopic surgery or arthroscopy is used to perform small repairs, debridement, and as a diagnostic procedure.

Arthroscopic surgery

The Quick answer is Arthroplasty is a joint replacement and arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that uses a scope and small inserted instrumentation.  Arthroscopy is much more common than arthroplasty as it is used to access the joint for small repairs, cleaning out or debridement, or for diagnostic purposes.

Joint Replacement in Jacksonville, FL

If you think you are a candidate for arthroplasty or joint replacement surgery, the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute can help. We off comprehensive orthopedic care from start to finish.  Let JOI get you on the road to your comeback!  For physical therapy appointments, please call 904-858-7045.

To schedule and appointment with a JOI orthopedic Joint Replacement Specialist, call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician


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