Joint Replacement Institute
The Joint Replacement Institute at St. Mary's Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive surgical and rehabilitative services for patients who have a knee or hip replacement.
Since most orthopedic surgery patients are not sick, the atmosphere at St. Mary's unit keeps the mood for patients light and easy-going. Patients enjoy visiting with and encouraging each other, and compete to see who can take more steps each day. The support from staff, family members and fellow patients is an important element for rebuilding the patient's sense of independence and confidence.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a wear and tear condition that destroys joint cartilage. At times, as the result of trauma, repetitive movement, or for no apparent reason, the cartilage wears down, exposing bone ends.
What is cartilage?
Joint cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones where joints are located. It helps cushion the bones during movement, and because it is smooth and slippery, it allows for motion with minimal friction.
How do I know if I have osteoarthritis?
There are numerous causes of joint pain that are not related to arthritis. Your physician will use your medical history, examination, X-rays and possibly blood work to determine if you have arthritis and the type.
How is osteoarthritis treated?
Common non-surgical treatments include:
- Exercise or physical therapy
- Pain relievers
- Weight reduction (if you are overweight)
- Walking devices
If these treatments do not provide adequate relief from pain, joint replacement may be an option.
Is total joint replacement only for people with osteoarthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis resulting from previous injury, correction of bone deformities and trauma are several conditions treatable by joint replacement surgery.
Which parts of the body does arthritis affect?
The most commonly affected joints are: