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Joint Replacement

Joint replacement is a safe operation that has become the most common form of major elective surgery performed each year in the U.S.   These operations are one of the foremost achievements in modern orthopedics because of their ability to return function to patients.

Annually, more than a million patients undergo this successful form of treatment for deteriorated joints – and as a result, they gain new mobility and freedom from pain.   Bones at joint junctures can become damaged due to loss of and injury to natural cushioning tissue.   Constant physical forces, acute events, rheumatologic disease can cause deterioration of joints to the point where they significantly compromise an individual’s life.

Virtua specialists are highly experienced in knee, hip, and shoulder replacements and have produced excellent results with these operations.   They can offer minimally invasive and partial approaches to joint replacement, and they have established excellent success and low complication rates with these surgical procedures.

Joint replacement is the only fully successful treatment for
joints that have been destroyed by arthritic processes. It brings pain relief and return of function.

Virtua orthopedists are well versed in determining which patients are candidates for full or partial joint replacement, based on the individual’s age, pain, debilitation, goals, and other health issues.   And they are happy to consult with patients as they begin to consider the decision to have a joint replaced.

The operations use the most advanced, durable and precisely fitted components, implanted with exceptional engineering and skilled surgical technique that makes for dependable outcomes and good patient experiences.   Patient’s who have a joint replacement are almost universally glad they that they did so, and today’s prosthetic joints typically last for decades.


Partial knee replacement

Partial knee replacement

The knee is the joint most commonly replaced.   Its lifelong role in weight-bearing and mobility makes it especially subject to wear and tear.

Femoral-tibial meniscal cartilage and patella (knee cap) structures are typical sites for arthritic destruction from repetitive stress or injury (osteoarthritis) or systemic autoimmune arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis).   Knees must bear us up every step of the way, and patients who undergo knee replacement enter a new phase of life, in which they can comfortably manage  steps again, walk for recreation, even jog or engage once more in activities that had previously become impossible.


X-ray image of replaced hip

Wikimedia Commons: KimvdLinde
X-ray image of replaced hip.

The hip is also a very common site for joint replacement, with hundreds of thousands of patients undergoing the operation each year in the U.S.   Like knees, these joints take weight-bearing impact every day, and some individuals are more prone to compromise in these joints.

The destroyed portion of the hip is removed and, in a total replacement, the orthopedic surgeon replaces both the ball and socket aspects of the joint, at the thigh bone and hip (pelvis) respectively.   Today’s prosthetic hips use biological fixation (in which the remaining healthy bone grows into the porous surface of the artificial hip) and high-tech joint cement.

Learn about anterior hip replacement for faster recovery.


Shoulder joint replacement

Shoulder joint replacement

The shoulder is a complex structure, particularly subject to the instability that can destroy joints – in this case due to damage to rotator cuff tendons and muscles.
Not widely offered in previous decades, shoulder joint replacement has advanced and become more broadly available. Technology as improved to allow the aspects of this complex joint to be restored with artificial components – and with excellent results.

And yet, total shoulder joint replacement nevertheless is still an exceptional service that requires the skills of an orthopedic surgeon with subspecialized training and experience, such as available on the Virtua staff. With the remarkable corrective interventions offered by these surgeons, individuals can once again raise and use their arms, often after years of gradually losing this ability.

Learn how reverse shoulder replacement is permitting joint replacement in patients with severely compromised rotator cuffs.

Rehabilitation through physical therapy is as important as any other aspect of treatment in joint replacement.   The Virtua staff knows how to help patients restore their range of motion and strength, and get them feeling good again and back to a physically active status.   Joint replacement is a revolutionary type of care that permits patients to return to normal, work and athletic activities.

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