Joint Replacement: Overview
Total joint replacement is reserved for the most severe and recalcitrant forms of osteoarthritis. When other forms of treatment fail or when patients are unlikely to succeed with lesser therapies, the last option to treat defective cartilage is to replace all or part of the joint. Several human joints are routinely replaced, such as the hip and knee. Technology has advanced to replace other joints, including the shoulder and wrist. The focus of this section will be total and partial joint replacement in the knee.