With about 1 million procedures performed annually in the United States, joint replacements have moved from cutting edge to commonplace. Still, the best results come from an experienced surgeon, making Dr. Douglas Abeles of Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates in Castro Valley, California, your choice for exceptional joint replacement care. Call the office or book a consultation online today to learn how Dr. Abeles can help you.
When conservative, non-surgical techniques no longer prove effective at reducing pain and restoring mobility, it may be time to consider joint replacement. Total joint replacements remove the affected bone tissue at the point these bones meet and use metal, plastic, or ceramic prosthetics designed to re-create the motion of the joint.
Dr. Abeles regularly performs knee and hip replacements, the most common replacement surgeries, and these represent two different types of joint. The knee is a hinge joint, operating mostly in a back-and-forth motion reminiscent of a door hinge. The hip has greater rotational motion, due to its ball-and-socket design.
Replacement surgery also can correct problems in other joints, including shoulder, elbow, wrist, and ankle.
There are several procedures for replacing all or parts of the knee joint, depending on the problems you’re experiencing. The total knee replacement is the most extensive, intended for those with considerable damage due to arthritis or knee injury.
The total replacement procedure removes the damaged cartilage at the ends of each leg bone, along with a small amount of bone to make room for the implants. The implants re-form the ends of bones, along with a spacer that provides a gliding surface for the hinge motion of the knee. The kneecap, or patella, is often resurfaced on the rear side with a plastic component that also slides with normal knee motion.
When only one area of the knee has damage, a partial procedure such as a unicompartmental replacement or a patellofemoral replacement may be suitable to restore the joint.
There are three main components in a hip replacement prosthesis, used to restore a hip joint after injury or degeneration of the joint. As with a knee replacement, a hip procedure removes damaged cartilage, but it also removes the femoral head, the bone ball at the top of the thigh bone. An implant that reshapes the top of the bone with a ball replaces it.
A cup is implanted into the pelvic bone, the socket that accepts the ball of the thigh. Between these is a spacer that fits into the socket and gives the ball a smooth surface to move against.
A partial hip replacement procedure exists, typically for repairing damaged femurs rather than addressing arthritis degeneration.