The Basics of Joint Replacement

The arthritis pain in your right knee won’t go away. You’ve tried everything – pain relievers, cortisone shots, physical therapy and even stem cell therapy. Your doctor says that your best option to regain function is a replacement arthroplasty, commonly referred to as a joint replacement.

If you or someone you know is considering a joint replacement, you probably have a lot of questions. Ilya Bendich, MD, MBA, provides answers to get you started.

What is a joint replacement?

A joint replacement is a metal and plastic reconstruction of one’s anatomy. Surgeons cut out arthritis and replace those portions of bone. The goal is to restore function and decrease pain for patients with end-stage joint arthritis.

When do you need a joint replacement?

A joint replacement, for the most part, is an elective procedure. This should be done in cases where a patient has end-stage hip or knee arthritis and has failed conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy and injections.

What should patients expect after surgery?

Patients can expect decreased pain and improved function, however, in the short term, patients will have pain, swelling, and restrictions.

What is the role of technology in joint replacement surgeries?

Technology is revolutionizing joint replacement. It allows surgeons to be more precise with surgical planning and execution. As an example, for posterior hip replacement, use of robotics is associated with a lower revision risk for dislocation.

Washington University Orthopedics offers a total joint replacement program. The Patient Journey Guide is a great resource for patients who are seeking joint replacement. It offers information about preparing for surgery and discharge.

For more information or to make an appointment with Washington University Orthopedics, please call 314-514-3500.