Joint replacement

Joint replacement is a procedure in which portion of the damaged joint are removed and replaced with a prosthesis made up of metal, plastic, or ceramic. The prosthesis is intended to mimic the motion of a normal, healthy joint.

Although knee and hip replacements are the most common joint replacements, replacement surgery can also be performed on other joints such as the wrist, ankle, shoulder, and elbow.

When is joint replacement surgery recommended?

The surgeons will recommend joint replacement if the person is having

  • Joint pain: A variety of conditions can result in joint pain and disability, prompting patients to consider joint replacement surgery. Joint pain is frequently caused by damage to the ends of the bones which can be caused by arthritis, a fracture, or another condition. If nonsurgical treatments like medications, physical therapy, injections, walking assistive devices and rest do not relieve your pain and disability.
  • Joint stiffness and limited mobility make it difficult or impossible to carry out daily activities.
  • Swelling (inflammation) that doesn’t improve with medications or lifestyle changes.

These symptoms can result from several conditions, including:

There are different types of joint replacements, based on the location and severity of each patient’s condition.

Hip Resurfacing or Partial Hip Replacement

This is mainly conducted when the cause of pain is trauma resulting from an injury to the hip. Only the damaged part of the hip joint is replaced, which is most often the ball like the head of the thigh bone, also called the femoral head. Since arthritis is a degenerative disease that slowly progresses, Partial Hip Replacement is not advised as a treatment to arthritis patients.

Knee Resurfacing or Partial Knee Replacement

A much less invasive procedure, as compared to total knee replacement, Knee Resurfacing only replaces the damaged part of the knee joint, resulting in alleviation of pain. During a Partial Knee Replacement, there is no damage to the knee cap, allowing patients to experience an increased range of motion and decrease in pain.

Revision Hip Replacement

When a Hip Replacement surgery fails, or after wear and tear of the hip implant, patients may feel their condition worsening, and experience pain and discomfort. In this case, the doctor may recommend that you undergo a second surgery to replace some or all the parts of the Hip Replacement. This is more complex than primary surgery and requires specialized tools.

Revision Knee Replacement

Conducted after a failed Joint Replacement or after the knee implant has experienced immense wear and tear due to activity or age, a Revision Knee Replacement is a second surgery that treats any pain experienced by the patient. Some or all the parts of the previous Knee Replacement surgery are replaced in a complex procedure.

Total Hip Replacement

Due to severe damage or arthritis in the hip joint, Hip Replacement surgery can provide relief and alleviate pain, allowing for a greater range of motion. During a Total Hip Replacement surgery, the ball and socket are removed and replaced with an artificial ball and implant. This helps the bones from rubbing against each other, which alleviates pain.

Total Knee Replacement

Arthritis or grave injury can cause immense pain in the bone joint, which affects normal daily function in severe cases. A Total Knee Replacement surgery involves replacing the knee joint with a prosthesis, which treats pain and increases movement.

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The position of the ball and socket in the joint are switched over and replaced with artificial parts. This prosthetic “ball” is surgically attached at the shoulder blade, and the artificial “socket” is attached to the upper end of the bones in the arm.

Elbow Replacement Surgery

In this the elbow bones are replaced with an artificial joint made of implants that attach to the bones in the arm. The implants are held together by a metal and plastic hinge.

Wrist Joint Replacement Surgery (Wrist Arthroplasty)

The damaged portion of the wrist bones are replaced with artificial joints during wrist joint replacement surgery.

Ankle Replacement Surgery

Total Ankle Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure used by orthopedic foot and ankle specialist surgeons to treat ankles affected by severe arthritis.

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The main difference between a standard shoulder replacement and a reverse procedure is that the ball and socket portions of the shoulder joint switch sides in a reverse shoulder replacement. This means that their natural position has been reversed.


Before the procedure

Certain exams or tests are conducted before performing the joint arthroplasty. These tests are:

  • Physical examination - This includes assessment of soft tissues, finding sources of infections and site of injuries.
  • Electrocardiography (ECG) - The ECG is done to check the electrical activity and rhythm of the heart.
  • Urinalysis - This test is done to check certain disorders like kidney disease, diabetes and urinary tract infections. Through this test, doctors also check the concentration, content and appearance of the urine.
  • Complete blood count (CBC) - This test provides complete information about the patient's blood. It tells about the count of platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. The test helps in detecting disorders like infection, anemia and leukemia.
  • CT scans, X-rays and MRIs - These imaging tests are done to get the images of the defective bones so that surgeons can decide the type of procedure to be performed.

Before the procedure

Joint replacement surgery takes a few hours. The procedure is usually performed in the hospital or outpatient surgery center.

    The patient is given anesthesia right before the surgery so that he does not feel any pain. The surgeon then makes incisions and removes the injured joint. The damaged cartilage and bone in your joint are removed during surgery and replaced with prosthetic components made of metal, plastic, or ceramic. The prosthesis is designed to mimic the shape and movement of a natural joint. Then, the incisions are closed using surgical glue, stitches and staples. After the completion of the surgery, the patient is shifted to the recovery area.

After the procedure

Depending on the type of joint replacement, whether you have a partial or total joint replacement, you can expect to spend one to four days in the hospital recovering. You will be expected to rest and limit all physical activities for several weeks after you return to home. Most patients who have partial joint replacement surgery can return to light duty and activities within a few weeks.


The majority of complications can be successfully treated. Infection, nerve injury, blood clots, and prosthesis problems such as loosening or dislocation are the most common complications of joint replacement surgery.

Joint replacement Care at Medicover

Medicover Hospital has a team of best orthopedic surgeons who are well versed and experienced in performing knee, hip and other replacement procedures. The orthopedic department provides high quality, personalized care for every orthopedic condition using the latest treatment and surgical procedures. For performing complex surgeries, we are fully equipped with the latest technologies for treating such as robotic joint replacement, computer navigation systems, advanced arthroscopic equipment, and high definition cameras for challenging procedures. This along with state of art operation theaters and a team of physiotherapists ensures utmost success and patient satisfaction.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What benefits do I expect from Knee or Hip replacement surgery?

Surgery to replace knee or hip joint can have a dramatic effect on the lifestyle of someone suffering from pain and disability. These replacement surgeries can relieve your pain and help to get back to normal, everyday activities. Advances in joint replacement surgical techniques and technology have greatly improved the results.

2. How long can I expect my new joint to last?

It depends on the level of usage and activities. If used sensibly, joint replacements should last more than 15 years. In many patients, it will last their lifetime.

3. Can both knee operations be done together?

Both knee replacement operations can be done under one anesthesia. The decision whether to do so depends on medical fitness.

4. How long do I have to stay in Hospital?

It depends on the complexity of the operation and your recovery. Patient with single knee replacement can go home in 2-3 days while those undergoing one stage bilateral knee replacements can go home in 3 to 5 days.

5. When can I start walking after operation?

In most cases, you can get out of bed the day of surgery or the next day. A physiotherapist will assist you. Following that, most people begin knee bending. You can take a few steps with the assistance of a walker as soon as you regain muscle strength. Later, you can go for short walks. If you make good progress, you should be able to start climbing stairs by the third or fourth day.

6. Can someone with high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma undergo joint replacement?

Yes, Patients with these medical conditions can have joint replacement surgery without risk. Prior to surgery, these conditions need to be well controlled with medication.