6 Types Of Joint Replacement Surgeries

Updated on September 8, 2020
Asian senior or elderly old lady woman patient show her scars surgical total knee joint replacement Suture wound surgery arthroplasty on bed in nursing hospital ward : healthy strong medical concept.

As you age, you may find that your body doesn’t recover from overuse as easily as when you were younger. If before you can survive spending hours at the gym or playing your favorite sport without any devastating effects the next day, nowadays, you may hear a cracking sound and feel a grating sensation in your bones every time you stand up after sitting for too long.

A lot of people ignore these joint problem symptoms, especially if they don’t feel sharp pain yet. However, you should be mindful of these early signs so that you don’t exacerbate the issue and end up being recommended for joint replacement surgery.

Nonetheless, the process is nothing to be anxious about since modern technology has paved the way for more non-invasive procedures. Specialized centers, like the Altenburg Joint Replacement Surgery facility, provides expert care through state-of-the-art equipment.

Here are the six types of joint replacement surgeries that you should know about:

1. Hip

This procedure entails surgically removing the hip joint that has arthritis and replacing it with an artificial one. Materials used for the new joint are usually metal or medical-grade plastic.

Traditionally, patients who undergo hip replacement surgery ends up with a large scar on the side of their hips. Fortunately, developments in the medical field have allowed for a minimally invasive procedure.

The doctor makes a cut along the affected area and moves the muscles to expose the hip joint. The ball of the joint would then be removed using a saw. Don’t worry, however, because the patient is given general anesthesia before the surgery to relax the muscles and placed into a deep sleep temporarily.

Two areas will receive artificial parts. The new joint is attached to the thighbone, while the artificial socket will be installed on the hipbone.

2. Knee

Another relatively common joint replacement surgery is done on the knees. Knee problems can be caused by improper posture in the workplace or workout injuries.

As much as possible, doctors won’t recommend surgery unless the pain has become intolerable. This happens when you’ve ruptured a tendon. You shouldn’t ignore early signs of joint problems since it’s the body’s way of telling you to give it time to recover.

However, if your podiatrist or orthopedist sees that you need surgery, you don’t have to worry. It’s less scary than hip replacement surgery because the surface of the joint is easily visible for the surgeon. While incisions will still be necessary, the entire procedure isn’t as invasive as the one done on the hips.

These are the various types of knee arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis – This one is a degenerative form of the disease. It typically affects middle-aged and older adults since it involves the breakdown of joint cartilage and the knees’ adjacent bones.
  • Rheumatoid – This type of arthritis occurs when the synovial membrane of the knee becomes inflamed and causes excess fluid. It can lead to pain and stiffness.
  • Traumatic – Traumatic arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by unnatural damage to the knees. This usually happens after you sustained an injury.

3. Shoulder

Shoulder replacement surgery is recommended for people who have a serious injury in the area, such as a broken bone. Severe arthritis and a torn rotator cuff are also other reasons to undergo this procedure.

Similar to hip and knee replacement surgeries, your shoulder joint will be replaced with an artificial one. These are the three types of shoulder replacement surgeries:

  • Total – It’s the most common type of procedure. The surgeon will substitute the affected joint at the top of your humerus, which is the bone at the upper arm, with a metal ball. The new part then gets attached to the remaining bone. Additionally, a new plastic surface is attached to the socket.
  • Partial – With partial shoulder replacement surgery, only the ball gets replaced. The socket remains the natural one.
  • Reverse – This one is typically recommended for patients with a torn rotator cuff. With this, a new socket is implanted at the top of your humerus, and a metal ball is connected to the shoulder bones.

4. Elbow

Athletes who use their elbows frequently, such as golfers and tennis players, run the risk of developing severe joint problems in the area. The procedure is similar to the replacement surgeries mentioned above.

Some of the complications that you should take note of are the following:

  • Infections
  • Nerve and blood vessel injuries
  • Allergic reaction to the artificial joint
  • Broken bones
  • Movement difficulties
  • Tendon weakness or failures
  • Pain

Elbow replacement surgery entails cutting through the patient’s skin, tendons, and bone. This means that you might feel intense pain after the procedure. Doctors typically prescribe pain medications for about one or two weeks once you go home after your stay in the hospital.

5. Wrist

Wrist replacement surgeries aren’t very common as arthritis-related conditions can be treated with medications and other treatments. For a lot of people, wrist fusion is the most viable option.

Wrist fusion entails implanting a metal plate with the aim of combining the small bones in the hands into a single fused bone. Patients who went through this procedure reported limitations in performing daily activities, such as fastening their buttons.

You can choose to go through wrist replacement surgery if you want more lasting relief for this joint problem. It’s ideal for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but it’s also effective for osteoarthritis and traumatic arthritis.

6. Ankle

Ankle replacement surgery replaces the damaged bone and cartilage in the joint with prosthetics. The doctor will be removing the affected areas in the lower end of your shin bone, as well as on the top of your foot bone. Artificial joints are then inserted, and a special glue, also known as bone cement, is applied to keep everything in place.


Joint replacement surgeries involve making incisions on your skin and moving the tendons and muscles so that the surgeon can cut the affected area. They will then insert artificial joints to replace the damaged ones. 

These are elective procedures, which means that it’s up to you whether you want to go through the said operations. However, they provide lasting relief for joint problems.

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