Joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which the worn, damaged surfaces of the joint are removed and replaced with new artificial parts. Your doctor may consider a joint replacement if you have severe joint pain which limits daily activities and is not relieved with medications, injections, physical therapy, or other treatments. The goal of the surgery is to relieve pain and restore the alignment and function of your joint.
Joints are formed by the ends of two or more bones connected by tissue called cartilage. Healthy cartilage serves as a protective cushion, allowing smooth and low-friction movement of the joint. If the cartilage becomes damaged by disease or injury, the tissues around the joint become inflamed, causing pain. With time, the cartilage wears away, allowing the rough edges of bone to rub against each other, causing more pain. Joint replacement surgery is aimed at improving the symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness caused due to damaged cartilage.
After the surgery, medications and antibiotics are prescribed to control pain and prevent infection. The rehabilitation program includes physical therapy, which is started soon after the surgery and is very important to strengthen and provide mobility to the operated joint. You may be able to perform your daily activities based on the pace of your recovery, ranging from two to six weeks after surgery.