In most cases, people can manage their osteoarthritis symptoms with medicine and lifestyle changes. But surgery may be an option if:
You have very bad pain.
You have lost a lot of cartilage.
You have tried medicine and other treatments, but they haven't helped.
Your overall health is good.
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
ArthroscopyArthroscopy. This may be used to smooth a rough joint surface or remove loose cartilage or bone fragments. In some people it may help relieve pain for a short time and allow the joint to move better.
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.