Osteoarthritis - Surgery
In most cases, people can manage their
osteoarthritis symptoms with medicine and lifestyle
changes. But surgery may be an option
- You have very bad pain.
- You have lost a lot
- You have tried medicine and
other treatments, but they haven't helped.
- Your overall health is
One Man's Story:
"I wasn't sure about having surgery
since I was so young. I had heard that an artificial hip could give out in 10
to 20 years ... But when the medicine I was taking stopped working, I figured
I had gone as far as I could go with this, and decided to go ahead with the
surgery ... It's a strange feeling to be able to walk without a limp and to
walk up and down stairs without grabbing on to the railing."—Steve
Read more about Steve and how he learned to cope with arthritis.
Types of surgery for arthritis
- ArthrodesisArthrodesis. This joins (fuses)
two bones in a damaged joint so that the joint
won't bend. Doctors may use it to treat
arthritis of the spine, ankles, hands, and feet. In rare
cases, it's used to treat the knees and hips.
- ArthroscopyArthroscopy. In some people, arthroscopy may relieve pain or locking caused by loose cartilage or bone fragments.5
- Hip resurfacing surgeryHip resurfacing surgery. This is most often done in younger, more active people
who have pain and disability caused by a badly
- Joint replacement. This is done when other treatments haven't worked
and damage to the joint can be seen on X-rays.
It involves surgery to replace the ends of bones in a damaged joint.
The surgery creates new joint surfaces. The joints that are replaced most often are the hip, knee, and shoulder. But other joints such as the elbow and the ankle can also be replaced.
- OsteotomyOsteotomy. This is done to correct certain
defects in the hip and knee. In most cases, it's done in active people younger
than 60 who have mild arthritis and want to delay surgery to replace a hip
Small joint surgerySmall joint surgery. Surgery is more common on the larger joints, such as the hip and the knee. But if pain in the small joints of the hands or feet is so bad that the person can't use those joints, surgery may help.
A newer procedure for arthritis of the knee
uses a small cup shaped like a "C." It's placed in the joint space of the inner
knee and acts as a cushion for the joint. It may help delay surgery to replace
What to think about