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What is Joint Replacement?

A joint is an articulation (junction) between 2 or more bones in the body. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and other soft tissue structures hold the joint in position. Joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged or worn out articulating parts of the joint are removed and replaced with new artificial joint parts (prosthesis) made of metal, plastic, or ceramic.

Joint disorders such as arthritis, a condition in which the articular cartilage that covers the joint surface is damaged or worn out, can cause significant pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint. Joint replacement surgery is usually employed to treat symptoms of arthritis. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain and restore the normal functioning of the joint. The two most common joint replacement surgeries are knee replacement and hip replacement.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • Tufts Medical Center
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe