Arthritis causes rough edges of bone to rub together, resulting in pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced mobility. Replacing the original joint with a prosthetic one can relieve these symptoms and restore the joint's function and range of motion.
Years ago, joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty, was viewed as a last resort. Today, advances in prosthetic design and surgical techniques have drastically improved recovery times and patient outcomes, making joint replacement a much more viable option. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 773,000 Americans have a hip or knee replaced each year.*
Hips and knees are the joints most commonly replaced with prosthetics, and at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our surgeons are also experienced in:
- Shoulder joint replacement (see our Shoulder Specialists)
- Elbow, wrist, finger joint replacement (see our Hand Specialists)
- Ankle joint replacement (see our Foot & Ankle Specialists)
If your physician has recommended joint replacement, your surgeon first will work with you to select the right model of prosthetic joint for your body type, your condition, and your lifestyle.
Joint replacement surgery is performed under either general or local anesthesia, and the duration will depend on the joint being replaced and the technique being used.
The joint replacement specialists of Houston Methodist have helped pioneer less-invasive surgical methods that minimize the number of tendons and ligaments cut in the process, enabling faster recovery. The average stay after a joint replacement at Houston Methodist is only three and a half days-50 percent shorter than the average stay just 20 years ago.
Before you leave the hospital, you'll receive specific instructions on caring for your new joint while you recover, which may include the use of a walker or crutches as well as certain home modifications. You'll also start working with a physical therapist to improve your strength and mobility as you get used to the prosthetic joint.
Most total joint replacement patients are able to return to normal activities in 6 to 8 weeks.
Texas Medical Center
Physicians marked with an asterisk (*) are fellowship-trained in the field of joint replacement.