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1. What is a Joints Replacement Surgeon?
Replacement arthroplasty; also commonly known as joint replacement surgery; is a surgical procedure related to orthopedics and more specifically the joints connecting the bones. It is only provided if the patient is suffering from severe joints pain or defective joints; either as a result of an accident, a disease or old age.
The procedure involves replacing a broken joint with an artificial joint or implant. This prosthesis will help the patient resume a normal life while their body heals from the joint pain or dysfunctional joint.
2. When can you meet a joints replacement surgeon?
There are both non-specific and specific signs or symptoms that would require a consultation with a joints replacement surgeon.
Non-specific signs and symptoms:
Stiffness: A persistent sense of heaviness or inability to move a particular joint, such as the knees, fingers, shoulders, etc, especially if the stiffness is coupled with pain requires a consultation with an orthopedic or joints replacement surgeon.
Pneumarthrosis: It is a symptom that is characterized by the presence of air in the joints sockets and mainly appears near the shoulder joints or near the collar bone. Usually, it can be identified by a cracking sound with pain at the joint but is best diagnosed by conducting a radiography.
Joint effusion: A joint effusion is when there is the accumulation of water or fluid near the knees. It can be caused by an infection, trauma or inflammatory conditions such as gout. It is characterized by swelling and pain near the knee cap and an inability to bend or stretch it.
Bone erosion: The loss of bone density over a period of time, either from old age or disease is called bone erosion. Usually this symptom mainly shows up in elderly patients but can occur in any age as a result of a disease or a disorder.
Decreased movement: Persistent or recurring difficulty in moving the joints near the shoulders, knees, hips, etc, is usually a sign of some underlying medical condition or trauma. Reduced motor coordination as a result of trauma, old age, disease or some other unidentified cause requires a consultation with an orthopedic.
Specific signs and symptoms:
Reactive Arthropathy: Inflammation caused as a result of coming into contact with bacteria is known as reactive arthropathy. This usually occurs when an infection in another part of the body triggers the inflammatory arthritis.
Crystal Arthropathy: The joints and the surrounding tissues can sometimes be affected if there is an accumulation of crystals around the joints. Known as crystal arthropathy, this symptom can lead to the destruction of the joints in the long run and requires medical intervention. Patients suffering from gout or chondrocalcinosis are some such examples of crystal arthropathy.
Enteropathic Arthropathy: Infections or diseases related to the intestine or bowel can sometimes trigger inflammation of the joints. This condition is called enteropathic arthropathy and most commonly occurs in patients suffering from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
Diabetic Arthropathy: Diabetes can also lead to the degeneration of the joints. Patients suffering from long-term diabetes are especially at risk.
Neuropathic arthropathy: Numbness or loss of sensation near the joints that bear weight; mostly the feet or ankles; is called neuropathic arthropathy. Also known as Charcot arthropathy, the condition is progressive in nature and can lead to the degeneration of the weight-bearing joints in the long run.
3. What are the types of surgeries provided by the joints replacement surgeon?
If a patient is experiencing any of the specific or non-specific signs or symptoms, a consultation with an orthopedic is required. The doctor has to examine the patient and based on the diagnosis, will decide if further consultation is required with a joints replacement surgeon.
There are many types of replacement surgeries that are provided by the surgeon. Based on the joint that has been affected, a joint replacement surgeon will decide the right replacement surgery for the patient.
Some of the procedures provided by a joint replacement surgeon are as follows:
Shoulder Replacement Surgery: When the lining of the shoulder cartilage has undergone general wear and tear or has been damaged, and as a result causes severe pain to the patient, a shoulder replacement surgery is provided as a treatment option.
Since we use our hands for most activities throughout the day; everyday; this surgical option is effective at helping the patient recover; although the timeframe for recovery is dependant on the extent of damage.
Hip Replacement Surgery: Our hips help us with our motor coordination. The hip joints are vital to help move our bodies from place to place. Sitting up, lying down, walking etc, are all activities that require our hips joints.
However, severe arthritis pain can occur near the hip joint. This can be a result of an accident or disease but is also a very common issue among the elderly patients. A hip replacement surgery is recommended to treat the condition.
It is a procedure that involves replacing the hip joint with an implant; also known as a hip prosthesis. The procedure has a success rate of 90-95 percent and will help the patient resume normal activities.
Knee Replacement Surgery: Our knee joints not only help us move from place to place but also help distribute our body weight evenly. The knees are also the most common complaint in the orthopedic field and the condition occurs across different age-groups.
A knee replacement surgery is a procedure that involves replacing the surface of the effected knee joint with materials made from plastic and metal. This helps to evenly distribute the bodyweight, treat severe pain and or fix the deformed knee joint.
Although, in the cases of severe deformity or damage the procedure carries higher risks compared to other joints replacement surgeries, the operation nonetheless has a success rate of 85 to 90 percent over a period of 15 years.
Ankle Replacement Surgery: The joints of the ankle help move our feet up, down and forward. Any damage or issues with the ankle can have a debilitating effect on our feet, it's ability to help us freely move around and distribute the body weight evenly.
Ankle replacement surgery will help restore the affected ankles and as part of the surgery, prosthetic components will be used to replace the ankle joints.
This procedure has been favored by both patients and doctors over other conventional methods such as arthrodesis; which involves fusion of the bones; and has a success rate of 90 percent.
Finger Replacement Surgery: While the fingers are one of the smallest joints in the human body, our opposable thumbs have left us with the ability to pick up, hold and handle objects and things as well as write and so much more!
Although defects of the finger joints are not as common as other joint issues, certain deformities and accidents can have a debilitating effect on our ability to use our hands in day-to-day simple activities. A finger replacement surgery involves the removal of the damaged joint that connects to the finger and shaping the ends of the finger bone to accommodate an implant.
It takes about 30 minutes on average to complete the operation and is therefore a quick procedure compared to other joint replacement surgeries. However, the patient will have to undergo therapy in the months following the procedure.
4. Where is a Joint Replacement Surgeon available?
It is important that one does not ignore the signs and symptoms and the patient gets the necessary medical attention as soon as possible. Our Ask A Doctor has it's very own joint replacement surgeon. With the above information, one can book a consultation with an online joint replacement surgeon for further clarity.