What Happens To a Joint
Joint replacement surgery, weather for a knee, a hip or shoulder can improve mobility and quality of life but should be evaluated carefully before having the procedure. Your joints can become damaged by injury, illness, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or even food poisoning (http://www.foodpoisoning.com/salmonella.html). These conditions cause inflammation, stiffness, reduced function which compromises blood flow to the joint. This additive process causes joint damage, cartilage erosion.
A New Joint
A new joint or prosthesis is usually a combination of plastics and metal which replace the moving part of the joint, preserving the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Replacement joints are usually reserved for people 60 and over. In younger patients if performed may need to be performed again in 15-20 years.
Knee and hip replacements are becoming more common due to the aging population. Currently about 1 million joint replacements are done each year.
Do I need a Joint Replacement
This decision is between your doctors findings from examination, x-rays orthoscopic examination and how it is effecting your quality of life. Your doctor may try treating you with medications for joint pain (Turmeric for joint pain), prescribe daily therapy you do at home, ad aqua aerobics classes, chiropractic care. These measures will not cure your joint problem but can improve your health and reduce pain. One thing to consider is how it effects your mobility and health in general. Here is an example of a questionnaire https://www.virtua.org/forms/joint-replacement-questionnaire. If you answer yes to 4 or more questions consult your primary care doctor for possible joint replacement or further evaluation. Basically if you experience constant daily joint pain and swelling, taking multiple medications for pain and inflammation, are gaining weight because you cannot walk, interrupts sleep. Then it may be time to consider a joint replacement.
The surgery itself can take a few hours. Post-surgery rehab takes about 6 months but usually you are walking with assistance the very next day (https://www.xarelto-us.com/hip-knee-replacement/after-surgery).