Joint replacement is a surgical procedure that removes part of an arthritic or damaged joint. The portion that's removed is then replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed to duplicate the movement of a normal, healthy joint. Although most joint replacements are performed on the hip and knee, replacement surgery can also be performed on other joints like the ankle, wrist, shoulder and elbow.

There are a lot of different options for joint replacement. The most common are arthroscopy, minimally invasive joint replacement and total joint replacement. However, partial joint replacement, osteotomy, synovectomy, joint revision and fusion are also options for some patients.

The cause of joint pain and disability can vary widely. More often than not, joint pain is caused by damaged cartilage that lines the ends of the bones. The cartilage may become damaged due to arthritis, a fracture, a previous injury or an existing condition.

Total joint replacement is seen most often in more mature patients who have arthritis or other chronic issues. If the injury is less severe and not arthritis-related, it may not be necessary to remove all of the cartilage and bone. Instead, the joint can be reconstructed using less invasive techniques. This type of joint repair is more common among athletes and other patients who suffer a sports- or exercise-related injury.

Depending on the pain or injury, your Capital Ortho physician may recommend nonsurgical treatments like medications, physical therapy and/or changes to your daily activities. However, if the pain persists, joint replacement may be an option.

OUR joint replacement SPECIALISTS

If you think you may need joint replacement surgery, we're here to help — in the Des Moines, Iowa, area and in surrounding communities. Call us at 515-440-2676 or use our online form to request an appointment with: