Health News

Joint Replacement Surgery: Information for Multicultural Communities

What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery is removing a damaged joint and putting in a new one. A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, and shoulder. The surgery is usually done by a doctor called an orthopaedic (pronounced or-tho-PEE-dik) surgeon. Sometimes, the surgeon will not remove the whole joint, but will only replace or fix the damaged parts.
The doctor may suggest a joint replacement to improve how you live. Replacing a joint can relieve pain and help you move and feel better. Hips and knees are replaced most often. Other joints that can be replaced include the shoulders, fingers, ankles, and elbows.



What Can Happen to My Joints?

Joints can be damaged by arthritis and other diseases, injuries, or other causes. Arthritis or simply years of use may cause the joint to wear away. This can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. Bones are alive, and they need blood to be healthy, grow, and repair themselves. Diseases and damage inside a joint can limit blood flow, causing problems.


What Is a New Joint Like?

A new joint, called a prosthesis (pronounced praas-THEE-sis), can be made of plastic, metal, or both. It may be cemented into place or not cemented, so that your bone will grow into it. Both methods may be combined to keep the new joint in place.
A cemented joint is used more often in older people who do not move around as much and in people with weak bones. The cement holds the new joint to the bone. An uncemented joint is often recommended for younger, more active people and those with good bone quality. It may take longer to heal, because it takes longer for bone to grow and attach to it.
New joints generally last at least 10 to 15 years. Therefore, younger patients may need to have the same damaged joint replaced more than once.


Do Many People Have Joints Replaced?

Joint replacement is becoming more common. More than 1 million Americans have a hip or knee replaced each year. Research has shown that even if you are older, joint replacement can help you move around and feel better.
Any surgery has risks. Risks of joint surgery will depend on your health before surgery, how severe your arthritis is, and the type of surgery done. Many hospitals and doctors have been replacing joints for several decades, and this experience results in better patient outcomes. For answers to their questions, some people talk with their doctor or someone who has had the surgery. A doctor specializing in joints will probably work with you before, during, and after surgery to make sure you heal quickly and recover successfully.


Do I Need to Have My Joint Replaced?

Only a doctor can tell if you need a joint replaced. He or she will look at your joint with an x-ray machine or another machine. The doctor may put a small, lighted tube (arthroscope) into your joint to look for damage. A small sample of your tissue could also be tested.
After looking at your joint, the doctor may say that you should consider exercise, walking aids such as braces or canes, physical therapy, or medicines and vitamin supplements. Medicines for arthritis include drugs that reduce inflammation. Depending on the type of arthritis, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids or other drugs.


What Research Is Being Done?

Studies of the various forms of arthritis, the most common reason for joint replacement surgery, are helping doctors better understand these diseases and develop treatments to stop or slow their progression and damage to joints.
Scientists are studying replacement joints to find out which are best to improve movement and flexibility. They are also looking at new joint materials and other ways to improve surgery. For example, researchers are looking for ways to reduce the bodys inflammatory response to the artificial joint components, and are trying to learn why some types of prostheses are more successful than others.
Other scientists are also trying to find out why some people who need surgery dont choose it. They want to know what things make a difference in choosing treatment, in recovery, and in well-being.
More information on research is available from the following websites:

    NIH Clinical Research Trials and You helps people learn more about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate. Visitors to the website will find information about the basics of participating in a clinical trial, first-hand stories from actual clinical trial volunteers, explanations from researchers, and links to how to search for a trial or enroll in a research-matching program.
    ClinicalTrials.gov offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions.
    NIH RePORTER is an electronic tool that allows users to search a repository of both intramural and extramural NIH-funded research projects from the past 25 years and access publications (since 1985) and patents resulting from NIH funding.
    PubMed is a free service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that lets you search millions of journal citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and preclinical sciences.

Health Watch

  [ - ] Video Stories Only  [ - ] Text Stories Only  [ + ] Show All

ABC National Health News

How the US Government Could Evacuate Americans With Ebola
See the "plastic tent" in a plane that could fly infected Americans out of Africa.
Why 6 Seconds of Exercise Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes
When it comes to exercise, even a little can go a long way.
Warm Water Sparks Flesh-Eating Disease Warning in Florida
Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes and cause flesh-eating disease.
Peace Corps Pulling Volunteers From Ebola-Affected Countries
The aid group Samaritan's Purse is pulling nonessential personnel out of West Africa after two workers contracted Ebola.
Ebola, Spreading in Africa, Could Land in US
An Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could land in the U.S., health officials said.
Top Sierra Leone Doctor Dies of Ebola
Dr. Shek Umar contracted the virus while helping others.
Generation of Tanners See Spike in Deadly Melanoma
Surgeon General: Skin cancer rates spike after generation of sunbathing, tanning beds
Fist Bumps Less Germy Than Handshakes, Study Says
Maybe athletes and President Obama are on to something.
What We Don’t Know About Lethal Injection Drugs
Drug doses and suppliers are sometimes kept secret, experts say.
Fear of Flying Amplified by Flurry of Air Disasters
Experts say flying can be 'perfect storm' for phobias.
Cards, and Love, Keep Pouring In for Little Boy Battling Cancer
Over 15,000 cards have been mailed to Danny Nickerson, the five-year-old battling cancer who is turning six tomorrow.
Report Raises Safety Questions on Popular Blood Thinner
Pradaxa has been linked to bleeding complications.
Why It was Easier to Sleep in the Stone Age
You might sleep better on a “Stone Age� settlement, researchers say.
5 Things That Make You a Mosquito Magnet
You might want to rethink that backyard beer.
Baby Who Can't Open Mouth Celebrates First Birthday
Baby Wyatt still can't open his mouth despite WhatsWrongWithWyatt.com responses.
Which Diet Gives the Best Bang for Your Buck?
A new study reveals how to lose more weight for less cash.
Cancer Lessons I Learned From a Fictional Teenage Boy
That love scene from "The Fault in Our Stars" is so intense.
How Hotter Summers Are Putting Swimmers at Risk
As families flock to pools and lakes to cool off, experts are warning about a risky consequence of climate change: waterborne disease.
Watch: 25 New Cases of Chikungunya in New Jersey
New Jersey residents who just returned from travel in the Caribbean reportedly have brought back the mosquito-carried virus.
Watch: NCAA Settles Class-Action Head Injury Lawsuit
The NCAA will create a $70 million fund to diagnose athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma while playing contact sports.
Watch: American Doctor Undergoing Treatment After Testing Positive for Ebola
Dr. Kent Brantly came into contact with the deadly virus while treating Ebola patients in Liberia.
Watch: Sierra Leone's Chief Ebola Doctor Catches the Virus
The latest victim in the fight against the deadly virus in West Africa is the man leading the fight.
7 Odd Reasons You Bruise Easily
There are plenty of reasons for easy bruising, the discoloration caused by a trauma that ruptured blood vessels just under the skin. Check out the surprising explanations behind your sore spots and learn which ones are harmless and which ones need attention.
11 Foods That Make You Hungrier
Feeling hungry? You should eat. But what if the foods you're eating actually make you hungrier than you were before you dug in? It's a more common conundrum than you might think.
14 Ways to Fight Hair Loss
Just because thinning is natural doesn't mean you have to accept it.
7 Subtle Signs You’re Drinking Too Much
How can you tell if you’re developing a problem? Not all the clues are the same for all people, but here are common signs you could be headed for trouble—and how to turn it around.
 

Enrollment for healthcare exchanges as part of healthcare reform begins October 1 in states where exchanges will be set up. Expect special reports each week from us about what you need to know about 'Obamacare' and the ongoing political fight about its future.

To Learn More About Health Care Reform, Click Here

Navigation

Sacred Heart Health System - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cardiology - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cancer Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Orthopedics - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vein Institute - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
The Endoscopy Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vascular & Interventional - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Stand Up Open MRI - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Advertise with us!

Tonight on ABC 3

06:30PM Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
07:00PM The Middle
07:30PM The Goldbergs
08:00PM Modern Family
08:31PM The Goldbergs
09:00PM Motive
10:00PM Channel 3 News

Complete ABC 3 Schedule