What Is Joint Replacement?
Joints are the areas where two bones connect to each other. A layer of cartilage acts as a cushion between joints, but over time the cartilage wears away. When this happens, joints start to ache, and patients have trouble walking, standing, and performing other physical activities. With joint replacement, doctors use a prosthesis made of metal or ceramic to replace the damaged joint.
What are the different types of joints?
The body consists of various joints that allow movement. Major joints include the trochoid, hinge, and ball-and-socket joints. The elbows and knees are considered hinge joints because these joints swing open and closed like a door. The trochoid joint enables the forearm to twist and the head to move to each side. The ball-and-socket joint allows the limb to move in a circular motion, such as in the shoulder and hip joints. In addition to cartilage, these joints are connected to tendons and ligaments to enable movement.
Which gender experiences more joint issues?
Studies show that there is a difference in the way men and women respond to joint replacement surgery. Women are more likely to develop arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, two diseases that damage joints, cause pain, and lead to replacement surgery. Men tend to put more pressure on joints due to higher body mass index and strenuous physical activity. Research also shows that female candidates are less likely to consult with a physician regarding joint replacement and more likely to get surgery once the joint pain has progressed to severe pain and disability. This ultimately affects the recovery process and the way the body responds to the prosthesis.
Does joint replacement affect men and women differently?
In recent years, there has been more of a push for gender-specific prosthesis due to many women’s issues with standard joint replacements. Due to certain anatomical differences, numerous women experience trouble with metal prostheses and must undergo surgical revisions. A large number of female patients also experience trouble with recovery, dealing with issues like implant instability and infection.
Should I talk to my doctor about joint replacement?
Patients experiencing any type of joint pain or trouble performing standard physical activities should seek the advice of a physician. A physician will be able to perform a thorough and comprehensive examination to identify diseases like arthritis that lead to joint issues. Physicians can also refer patients to specialists like orthopedic surgeons to provide additional expert analysis on joint replacement surgery.