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Joint replacement - Arthroplasty

TreatmentsTreatmentsIt is generally accepted that preservation of the bodies own joint should always be the priority. However, when the joint finally collapses, joint replacement is the final solution for many sufferers. Once decided upon,  consideration should be given to the lifetime of the replacement joint compared to the age of the recipient, with the full understanding of the consequences and difficulties of what happens when the artificial joint fails.

For hips

When AVN is in the advanced stages, the condition is no different from osteoarthritis of the hip joint. Your surgeon will probably recommend replacing the hip with an artificial hip joint. For those patients with a limited bone defect that only affects the femoral head and does not extend into the hip socket, a resurfacing procedure might be considered. Hip resurfacing arthroplasty is a type of hip replacement that replaces the arthritic surface of the joint but removes far less bone than the traditional total hip replacement.

For knees

Knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty), involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint. It's a routine operation for knee pain most commonly caused by arthritis. More than 70,000 knee replacements are carried out in England and Wales each year, and the number is rising. Most people who have a total knee replacement are over 65.

For most people, a replacement knee will last for at least 15 to 20 years, especially if the new knee is cared for properly and not put under too much strain.

Types of surgery There are two main types of surgery, depending on the degree of collapse of the knee joint:

  • Total knee replacement (TKR) - both sides of your knee joint are replaced.
  • Partial (half) knee replacement (PKR) - only one side of your joint is replaced in a smaller operation with a shorter hospital stay and recovery period.

For shoulders

Total shoulder replacement surgery alleviates pain by replacing the damaged bone and cartilage with a metal and plastic implant. The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, much like the hip joint. The ball is the top of the arm bone (the humerus), and the socket is within the shoulder blade (scapula). This joint allows people an enormous range of motion at the shoulder.

When shoulder replacement surgery is performed, the ball is removed from the top of the humerus and replaced with a metal implant. This is shaped like a half-moon and attached to a stem inserted down the centre of the arm bone. The socket portion of the joint is shaved clean and replaced with a plastic socket that is cemented into the shoulder blade.

Important warning

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