Even if you take your medications, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and do everything you can to break the arthritis pain chain, your joint pain and damage may still be debilitating. If that is the case, your doctor may recommend joint surgery. Several types of surgery are available to restore function and reduce or eliminate your pain.
Arthroscopy. Tears in soft tissues around the knee, hip, shoulder and other joints are fixed; damaged cartilage is repaired; and broken, free-floating cartilage pieces are removed.
Synovectomy. Surgeons remove most of or the entire inflamed and overgrown joint lining (synovium). This is most commonly used in people with inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteotomy. Joint misalignment is corrected by adding or removing a wedge of bone near a damaged joint to redistribute weight on the joint.
Arthrodesis or Fusion. Pins, plates or rods are used to join two or more bones in the ankles, wrists, thumbs, fingers or spine, making one continuous joint.
Partial Joint Replacement. In the knee, one of the three compartments is replaced with an implant, leaving the remainder of the knee joint intact. In the hip, surgeons replace the ball part of the “ball and socket” with a metal prosthesis but leave the rest intact.
Total Joint Replacement (Arthroplasty). The damaged joint is completely replaced with an implant made from a combination of metal, plastic and/or ceramic components.